It is never a good idea to do a review on a movie without having first read the book.... Well almost never....Well OK in this instance I felt that I was at a distinct disadvantage to be in a movie house where I was one of two in the audience who had not read or attempted to read the book. The Kite Runner was an exquisite movie for me that never quite reached the exquisite point. I kept waiting for the pinnacle of pleasure that it never quite developed.. you know that point where you want to giggle because it feels so good inside or you want to cry because the whole world just stopped for you... This movie had the story... it just didn't quite deliver. I enjoyed the story about the boyhood friendship.. It was engaging and I totally was there. I enjoyed learning about Afghanistan and it's culture (of what we could see of it) but about half way through the movie the story changed. It got chopped up and the characters lost their luster and the movie lost it's direction for me. Perhaps if the movie had used the story of the boys in flashbacks, and focused on the main character in today's world reflecting on things from his past... but well I am not sure that that would not "Americanize" the movie and then take us away from the picture by taking away a certain cultural authenticity.
I had read a movie review of this movie where the reviewer stated that the movie did not need to include a rape scene.. I disagree with this comment. The rape scene was pivotal not only so we understood the cultural significance of it for the young boy but also because of what later happens to his own son. The scene where the woman was stoned is also a picture of that society and I found it as repulsive as the rape scene but note that no one objected to it when reviewing this movie. What is more (although the movie did not delve into it) I suspect the woman had been raped and this was her "infidelity" that she was stoned for. (I have read several stories of this happening in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over.)So I find myself agreeing with some of the reviewers but disagreeing with several others who found fault where there was none. For a good synopsis of this movie check out Wikipedia's review.
Kite Running on Whidbey Island.