The World According to Renee

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Review: The Kite Runner (film)

Please note that this post contains spoilers.

I think I’ve finally worked out why novels don’t translate to the screen (with few exceptions). When you have a novel that is so entrenched with internal dialogue, it’s impossible to carry that to a film. Not only do you have time constraints, you also have limited characters to move it along (unless you want a narrator, which makes the film very wordy). This is, I believe, the main reason this film doesn’t work. The novel was harrowing, following Amir’s internal anguish over events which the film doesn’t accurately portray. There’s no connection to the story, no ability to follow how one things leads to the next.

The film is disjointed, as is the novel. However, if you’ve not read the novel I think you lose the hows and whys of this linear disconnection. The other main issue I have with the film is that there’s no feeling there; it’s as if the actors turned up, said their lines and disappeared for the day. There’s no connection between the actors or the characters. They are lost in a jumble of Farsi. I liked that the film was mostly in Farsi, with English subtitles as it added to the authenticity of the setting. Unfortunately, that’s where it ends for me. Amir seems trapped in a predestined script (well, obviously he is… but in the novel his journey was much more organic and flowing). All the important scenes and dialogue are there but towards the end, there are some major bits omitted so the ending feels rushed. If you haven’t read the novel, you’ll probably get to the end and wonder what the hell just happened. Even if you have read the novel, you’ll probably get to the end and wonder what the hell just happened.

None of the beauty of the novel is preserved. The film doesn’t have time to stop and smell these roses that create the Afghan world. Obviously filming in Afghanistan is nigh impossible and the imagery created in my mind is not going to be translated to the screen, but I still felt Amir’s world was inaccurately portrayed.

Forget the film, read the book.

5 out of 10 popcorns.


February 15, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Review: The Kite Runner

Rarely does one find a novel so beautifully written but such a simple tale. Welcome to The Kite Runner, the story of… Well, there are many stories within this novel. There’s stories of atonement, survival, redemption… How can one man play so many roles in his own life story?

On the surface, The Kite Runner is about a refugee from war-torn Afghanistan in the 1980s. What is he really running from? Painful childhood memories, sins of the father or his own cowardice? I was completely engaged in the novel from the very first page. Just when I thought the novel had nowhere else to go, it twisted into another tale, another role to play. When you look deeper, everything is a subtle revelation of life. The words take aim and capture the reader to a world barely known. If not for the political decimation, Afghanistan would be the top of my list of places to visit. The imagery created is worthy of film-making, yet I cannot see how it could be done (although it has; the film was released in 2007 and I plan to watch it in the very near future). The protagonist, Amir, almost pokes fun at the essence of writing yet it’s so beautifully woven into the novel that I think most readers would miss it.

In any case, I cannot speak highly enough about this novel. It’s a wonder, a masterpiece. I almost wrote “a joy” but it is not. This is a tale about the horrors of living in a warzone, a country where your home and roots are but you are not. It’s worse than watching a dog rip apart your favourite childhood toy, its stuffing thrown about to lie where it falls and no one cares enough to pick it up.

The themes of guilt, atonement, redemption and family are woven through the novel and it never falters. It’s truth spilled onto the paper without shadows; this is a real person and not a character in a book where they will overcome all.

Take this journey with Amir. Let him show you the beauty and the horrors of life.

9.5 out of 10 bookmarks.

February 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment