Monday, October 14, 2013

“THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST” Movie Review. For the Arts Buff, a Reel Treat.




If you are an avid arts buff, this film can do you no wrong.

With the present avalanche of whimsical superheroes and awesome CGI features flooding the saturated market place, this one’s surely a welcome respite.

It’s different, it’s a reel treat.

“THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST” guides you through an intriguing world of exotica whilst you sit agape.

It is based on a political thriller novel by Mohsin Hamid.

This movie adaptation helmed by Mira Nair combines culture, religion (to a certain extent), romance, finance, all of which are witnessed by a young Pakistani man Changez (Riz Ahmed) who is being transformed from being an ambitious Wall Street capitalist relegating to a mere Muslim scholar in Lahore when he returns to his homeland.

What brought about the change?

The dehumanization of culture and creed he experiences as a Muslim in New York in the wake of  the 9/11 horror has changed his beliefs about the white people mingling around him in the real world.

He sees racial prejudice everywhere being meted to his brown skinned comrades.

 Harassed at airports for security checks, despised by wary citizens, and unfairly questioned by the US government over terrorist actions, his growing resentment and disillusionment brought him back to his country to lecture at a local university

Then in 2011 with the kidnapping of a U.S. diplomat in Pakistan, Changez is drawn into another conspiracy.

Bobby Lincoln (Liev Schreiber), a journalist with extensive experience in covering political issues in the East, arrives at Lahore to interview him about the “new militant academia” that has been causing international unrest.

Changez’s family has been suspected of involvement with radical causes, and in an adamant, unaffected manner, he recounts to Bobby on his present principles.

“THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST” is an engaging film that paves the way for some soul-searching questions about the reality created by religion upon this troubled world.

It has the best efforts of some really fine actors such as Liev Schreiber, Kate Hudson and Kiefer Sutherland.

But it is Indian actor Riz Ahmed who plays the lead Changez that the film centres on.

His compelling performance steals the thunder from the competent all star cast.

This film is worth a watch, specially for the arts buffs.

Don’t miss it.

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