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The film ‘The Kite Runner’ is a 2007 drama film that was directed by Marc Foster. It is based on the novel by Khaled Hosseini, which was similarly titled ‘The Kite Runner’. The film title relates to the subject matter of the film. This title depicts the relationship between a kite flyer and a kite runner and the extent to which they rely on each other to achieve victory in the competitions involving kites. This title can be interpreted to show the friendship bonds that exist between people and the significance of such a bond as well as the fact that friendships always overcome challenges in the end.
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Thesis: A friendship is a wonderful bond which is not always a smooth journey, but ultimately stands any crisis.
The film tells a story of two childhood friends Amir and Hassan, who despite Hassan being the servant’s child and Amir the employer’s child are inseparable. This friendship does not only stand the social class difference between the two boys, but also the tribal differences which are discrimination criteria at the time. Things, however, take a turn for the worst when Amir witnesses his friend being bullied and raped and doesn’t intervene. This action leads to feelings of guilt. Additionally, Amir also falsely accuses his friend of stealing which does not make the matters any better as Hassan’s family is forced to vacate Amir’s father house leading to the separation of the two boys. Eventually, due to political turmoil, Amir’s family has to leave their country Afghanistan for a safer and free US. After many years, however, Amir has to face his past as he goes back to Afghanistan where he attempts to make things right and free himself from the guilt that has been haunting him for all those years (Horberg, Parkes, Yeldham, Walsh, & Forster, 2007).
Analysis and Evaluation of the Film
Friendship is a bond that can propel people to great achievements. The film is centered on the relationship between two boys Amir and Hassan, whose bond is created through Kite flying. The choice of kite flying is not likely to be coincidental. In Afghanistan, there is a kite flying tournament that is highly valued and in which the winner gets to take home a trophy (Horberg et al., 2007). Thus, the kite is a symbol that brings the boys together. It is also a symbol of the fun and joy that the friendship between the two boys brings. Furthermore, it is a sign of the dependence between the Amir and Hassan, given that they have to combine their gifts to win. On one hand, there is Amir who is an experienced kite flyer while on the other is Hassan who is a skilled Kite Runner. This illustrates that friends need each other to achieve bigger things in life.
Friends may at times fight or quarrel. Khaled, on whose book the film is based on is also eager to show that some friends do not always appreciate or rather see the value of the friendship. Despite Hassan’s dedication to Amir which is emphasized by Hassan’s words ‘for you, a thousand times over’, Amir is still not very happy with him. He is jealous of his friend given the fatherly love he receives from Baba, Amir’s father. Amir is also not happy with the equal treatment they receive given that Hassan is the servant’s son. Instead of being happy for his friend, he hates that Hassan is favored (Horberg et al., 2007).
Being there for each other is a part of friendship. However, some friends do not always realize this. When the antagonist of the film Assef moves to attack Amir, Hassan is there to defend him. However, when Hassan is in trouble, Amir does not make any effort but instead watches cowardly from a distance (Horberg et al., 2007). This act confirms how at times friendships are one-sided whereby only one friend is willing to do anything for the friendship. The film is, however, careful not to devalue the power of friendship by ensuring that Amir feels guilty about his lack of action. This guilt is too heavy for Amir which illustrates just how powerful friendship can be. The guilt is too much for Amir that he falsely accuses Hassan of stealing so that Hassan and his family can be ejected from their house.
Despite all these events, the film also demonstrates that friendship offers a second chance to demonstrate the fact that it can stand through any crisis. Although Amir has committed grave wrongs towards Hassan, he is offered a second chance for redemption twenty years later, another chance to show that he still cares for his friend. Amir travels from the US and eventually back to Afghanistan to save Hassan’s son Sohrab. It is depicted as a dangerous move given that the Taliban mercenaries are still in control of the country. Amir still agrees to go and save Sohrab and ultimately moves with him back to the US (Horberg et al., 2007). In fact, Amir now acts as the Kite Runner for Sohrab and repeats the same words Hassan would tell him, ‘for you, a thousand times over’ By this action, Amir redeems himself in the eyes of Hassan, who is now dead. This scene proves that friendship always offers a second chance (Horberg et al., 2007).
Although this film appears flawless in demonstrating friendship, it has several shortcomings. To begin with, the scene of Amir falsely accusing his friend depicts the ability of friends to be so cruel. Furthermore, the fact that Hassan has to die so harshly after being so good shows friendship in a bad light. It does not help that the antagonist, Assef, lives a great life even after all the evil he has committed. These scenes do not promote the message that ‘good always triumphs over evil’.
Another shortcoming of this film is the use of children characters to demonstrate the message of friendship. While children can indeed be affectionate towards each other, they are also considered too irrational in their actions. Their lack of lucid thinking can, therefore, distort the message of friendship driven by the film. For instance, the actions of Amir to frame Hassan as a thief could be interpreted as just a child’s inability to think rationally.
The Film ‘The Kite Runner’ is a story depicting the fact that friendship is a wonderful bond which is not always a smooth journey, but ultimately stands any crisis. Amir and Hassan prove that friends depend upon each other to achieve success and that friend will always be there for each other. Despite the challenges faced such as being jealous of each other and not always being there for each other, the film is successful in demonstrating that friendship offers a second chance to make amends for these mistakes. In spite of the effectiveness of the film in delivering this message, there are a few shortcomings such as the killing of Hassan, a good character, and the use of child characters to depict friendship which might distort the message.
Horberg, W., Parkes,W., Yeldham, R., Walsh, E. (Producers), & Forster, M. (Director). (2007). The Kite Runner [Motion Picture]. United States: DreamWorks Pictures.
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