The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Starring: Riz Ahmed, Liev Schreiber, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland
Directed by Mira Nair
Run Time: 130 mins
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Opens May 10th
By Lisa Minzey of The Reel Critic.com
Hey Phoenix Film Fans! Opening this week exclusively at Harkins Shea 14 is the indie film “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” starring Riz Ahmed, Liev Schreiber, Kiefer Sutherland and Kate Hudson. Based on the novel of the same name written by Mohsin Hamid, this film won the audience award at the 2012 Mill Valley Film Festival.
Taking place over the course of one afternoon, Newspaper journalist Bobby Lincoln (Liev Shreiber) proceeds to interview a man he has been trying to peg down for quite some time. Finance professor at a local university in Lahore, Pakistan, Changez Khan (Riz Ahmed) is an unusual man. He has known two different lives, one as a Pakistan and one as an American. His story starts ten years earlier in 2001, when he was studying at Princeton University. On the eve of his graduation, he was recruited by the top financial firm in the world to be an analyst. His recruiter Jim (Kiefer Sutherland), was impressed by his tenacity and hunger for success, which proved to be a wise choice. Changez out shone the rest of the new hires becoming a rising star in the company. During the same time, he met a woman, Erica (Kate Hudson) whom he started a romantic relationship with. Although he built this dream life, the imperfections and harsh realities of being a Middle Eastern, Muslim man post 9/11, made life for Changez difficult back in the States.
As choices affect our destiny, Changez decided to return to his roots and start a new life with the knowledge he amassed while over seas. While evil and powerful men are all among us, will Changez break away and be able to live a peaceful life or is he playing the same games, just new names, different faces?
If anything, this film is an interest discussion piece about how people view each other today, even thought “progress” is supposedly been made. What works about this story is that the characters a rich and deep; the situations are compromising and emotionally complicated. The cat and mouse thriller really keep the viewer guessing on each man’s motive up until the very end. What was rather disappointing is that it leaves the viewer at the end in an unfulfilling place as the story just stops. This film does have noticeable differences from the novel, keeping the majority of the key points, but it works in this context and flows a little more logically. If you’re looking for a break from the summer blockbuster crowd, check out this film when it opens starting Friday May 10, 2013 at Harkins Shea 14.