Ashdoc's movie review---The reluctant fundamentalist

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Ashdoc's movie review---The reluctant fundamentalist

Post by ashdoc on Fri May 17, 2013 6:17 pm

America in the nineteen nineties.....At the top of the world as it was still enjoying its victory in the cold war.....
.......An innocent time when it was a genuinely free society without the encumbrances of security checks everywhere.....
And above all at the peak of economic prosperity and confidence.....

New York in the nineteen nineties.....Heading towards becoming a real
melting pot where people of diverse races and cultures lived with each
other---christians and jews and muslims and hindus and sikhs and
caucasians and blacks and hispanics and asians.....
And New York was....is the economic centerpiece of America.....

And towering over New York were the Twin towers---elegant as well as
brute symbols of America's economic dominance over the world......

Men and women dreamt of working in or near the Twin towers of New York city---for working here meant that you had arrived.....

And then they came down at the start of the twenty first
century---destroyed by the most astonishing and devastating terrorist
attack on any urban center in the world.....

And lives changed after that.....America changed.....
America's perception of the religion of those who had brought down the Twin towers changed too.....

The hero of the this film ( played by Riz Ahmed ) belongs to that religion---yes he is muslim.....and a Pakistani to boot.....

Riz is is one of those whom Tom Wolfe so famously called ' Masters of
the universe ' in his acclaimed novel ' Bonfire of the vanities '.......
Yeah , he has achieved his dream of working at a top position at the firm Underwood Samson in New York.....
And he has a white girlfriend.....
He thinks he's made it.....

......Until it all comes down---thats is , until the towers come down.....

And here he is---sitting in Lahore in Pakistan telling his life story to
an American journalist who's come to give a patient hearing to his
twisted tale......
The journalist has come to hear as well as record Riz's tale because he is now purported to be a fundamentalist.....
All this is happening under the shadow of the kidnapping of an American professor in Lahore---so times are grim.....

Its upto Changez Khan ( thats Riz's name in the movie and no , he's no
mongol emperor ) to convince the American reporter that he may be a
fundamentalist but he's a reluctant one---the reluctant
fundamentalist.....

So what does the term ' reluctant fundamentalist ' mean ??
It means that he's been forced to become a fundamentalist by
circumstances , by people's , by America's behavior towards
him---especially after the 9/11 attacks.....

So does he manage to convince the American journalist that he is a fundamentalist of the reluctant variety ??

Go and watch the movie for that.....

The more important matter is----did he manage to convince the audience
watching the movie that he is a reluctant fundamentalist ??

This I can answer only for myself.....

And the answer is that at least I wasn't fully convinced.....

Agreed , some of the humiliation Changez had to undergo as America became suspicious of muslims does not make nice viewing.....
He is repeatedly singled out for security checks and on one occasion is forced to strip naked in front of policemen.....
And he becomes a target for minor hate attacks....
Even his girlfriend betrays his trust.....

Agreed with all that.....agreed.....

But would the Pakistanis have behaved less paranoically had their
country been attacked by outsiders in a brutal terrorist attack ?? Would
their behavior towards the people of the attackers' religion been any
different than the Americans' behavior ?? Would Changez behave in a
different manner than Americans did with outsiders if his country was
attacked by their people ??

And why does Changez have to become a fundamentalist ( however reluctant
that fundamentalism may have been ) because America was was not good to
him ??
Why does he have to grow a ' fundamentalist ' beard ?? Is it compulsory for people ill treated by America to grow a beard ??

OK , if he does not feel comfortable in America he can go back to
Pakistan---but why cant he live a secular life there ?? What is the need
for Changez to come close to religion even if America was not good to
him ??
For example if an Indian or Chinese or Korean suffers racism in America ,
then that does not mean he comes close to his religion does he.....

In my opinion these Pakistanis use any excuse to turn to their favourite haunt---religion.....

Its to the credit of the character of Changez that he does not let his
fundamentalism divert into terrorism---for his experience as an
evaluator has given him enough brains to figure out the sinister aims of
those who want to recruit him for terror and refuse them.....

The movie unfolds as a series of flashbacks as Changez tells the
American journalist his story and becomes more gripping as it becomes
interconnected with the fate of the kidnapped American professsor.....

And aquires the properties of a thriller as it becomes intense and
Changez reveals that he knows who the American journalist really is.....

Mohsin Hamid's novel has been well adapted on the screen using several
Indian actors like Shabana Azmi and Om Puri who play Changez' parents ,
and the atmosphere of and contrast between New York and Lahore has been
well created .

I found the movie worth a watch....

Verdict---Good .

ashdoc

Posts : 2006
Join date : 2011-05-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Ashdoc's movie review---The reluctant fundamentalist

Post by bw on Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:33 pm

my verdict : awful movie.

i haven't read the book and i suspect the book may be far more subtle than this masala fare dished out by mira nair.

bw

Posts : 2922
Join date : 2012-11-15

View user profile

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum