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The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012)

Riz Ahmed , Kate Hudson , Mira Nair  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber, Kiefer Sutherland, Shabana Azmi
  • Directors: Mira Nair
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: August 27, 2013
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,219 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

An interview between an American journalist and a Pakistani professor forms the spine of Mira Nair's sociopolitical character study. While working on a piece about the "new militant academia," Lahore-based Bobby Lincoln (Liev Schreiber) meets with Changez Khan (Riz Ahmed, The Road to Guantánamo) in an attempt to understand how this self-proclaimed "lover of America" could turn against his former homeland. Changez recalls his life in Manhattan, circa 2001, where Jim Cross (Kiefer Sutherland, cast against his 24 type) hires the Princeton graduate as a financial analyst for a firm that helps companies to become more profitable--by firing workers. During his travels, Changez hits it off with Erica (Kate Hudson, out of her depth), a conceptual artist. Then the Twin Towers fall while he's in Manila on business, and his faith in the United States dissolves after an unwarranted strip search, followed by further indignities. Where he once appreciated the country's "level playing field," Changez comes to feel like an outcast, even with Erica, who sticks by him for reasons more opportunistic than affectionate. Mira Nair's adaptation of Mohsin Hamid's novel works best when these characters hash out their differences rather than during the amped-up climax, in which rocks, guns, and riot police come into play. But it wouldn't work at all if Changez didn't register as a plausible human being rather than a stand-in for an entire people, and Ahmed effectively reveals his different dimensions, even if the film lacks the emotional richness of The Namesake, Nair's previous literary adaptation. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

Based on the international bestseller, THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST is both a gripping thriller and a fascinating look at the post-9/11 world. Kate Hudson (Glee, Something Borrowed), Kiefer Sutherland (24, Touch) and Liev Schreiber (X-Men Origins, Repo Men) lead a powerful cast in the story of a young man caught in the middle of an unfolding international crisis. When an American academic in Pakistan is kidnapped by anti-American radicals, the CIA thinks popular young Pakistani professor Changez (Riz Ahmed, Trishna) is involved. But as Changez tells his remarkable story about his life in the US - including his rising career on Wall Street and passionate relationship with a beautiful New York artist - to an American foreign correspondent, the truth becomes harder to pin down. Acclaimed director Mira Nair s (Monsoon Wedding) adaptation of Mohsin Hamid s novel is a tense tale of hidden agendas and best intentions gone wrong.

Special Features: Making of, Trailer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coping with a time of Terrorism May 2, 2013
For those who have read Mohsin Hamid's brilliant novel on which this film is based the story will be easier to follow than the somewhat disconnected screenplay that was written by Hamid with Ami Boghani and William Wheeler. Mira Nair directs, and knowing her previous work suggests that it is this very disconnect that she wishes to emphasize in this profoundly moving film - in these times of global unrest and fear because of terrorist acts we don't know who to trust and who to dislike, but the answer is that there is no right or wrong. Nair achieves this by beginning her film with a conversation between an American journalist Bobby (Liev Schreiber) and a Pakistani professor Changez (Riz Ahmed) in a setting of high tension in a bar in Lahore and our initial belief is that the Bobby represents the core we trust and with whom we identify, that Changez is the unknown `different culture' stranger who is suspect. In the course of the film that position is deeply altered. And that is where the power of the message is so affecting. But we must go through flashbacks of eleven years to understand the real drama.

Changez Khan (the very handsome and very fine actor Riz Ahmed) lives with his poet father Abu (Om Purl) and mother Ammi (Shabana Azmi) in Pakistan. The family is poor but educated and Changez decides to go to America to find his place in the corporate world of money and success - and help support his family (his sister is ready to marry but the family can ill afford a traditional wedding). Changez arrives in America, attends university, and rises rapidly, gaining a position with a Wall Street company that specializes in financial advising for business internationally.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and thought provoking September 15, 2013
Reading the plot blurb at the rental store for this movie made it sound intriguing, but when I saw it was also directed by Mira Nair, who did such good jobs on the entertaining yet emotionally deep Monsoon Wedding, Salaam Bombay! and The Namesake, I knew it would be good, but I didn't know how moving it would be, nor profound in it's deeper reminder that looks can be (and often are) deceiving.

Without wanting to say too much and give away the story which keeps the suspense and drama taut and fast paced, I want to add my 2cents worth to those who say this is a great story with interesting twists and layers of realistic emotion, leading to a vision of humanity that is perhaps more optimistic than is currently warranted (in reality we'd have seen the launch of a deadly drone near the ending...). It brings up issues of Western hegemony, terrorism and national security, personal ambition and integrity (and in this way reminds me of the less nuanced Syriana), but even more universally it is the classic story of how we as individuals are all challenged by, and perhaps eventually overcome, the urge to react with anger and negativity, and get sucked into that which we are wanting to rise above. In this way it was a bit like the great short story Ceremony: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) by Leslie Marmon Silko, yet in a completely more contemporary and emotionally seductive context. I now look forward to reading Hamid's novel.

This is a deftly directed movie, beautifully filmed with wonderful acting, a great soundtrack and ultimately an inspirational message. It seems timely enough to me, but even more interesting is it's timeless aspect, and a perspective that is refreshingly foreign.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Adapting the critically acclaimed 2007 bestseller "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" by Pakistani author Moshim Hamid, director Mira Nair had a number of challenges to face. The novel is a complex and challenging look at a post-9/11 world and has been pretty universally praised and even studied on college campuses. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, it is a book that instantly connected with the zeitgeist of attempting to understand how both the terrorist acts on that fateful day and the U.S. response to them had forever changed the world in which we lived. The story is told entirely through the eyes of a young Pakistani man who embraced the American dream before ultimately feeling betrayed by it. When trying to adapt such a seminal and personal work, it is virtually impossible to satisfy everyone. When a work becomes "important" (for lack of a better word), any adaptation will likely be scrutinized and judged to fall short. And indeed, the critical response to "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" was largely tepid. While it's true that the film version lacks some of the power and potency of Hamid's treatise, I still think that it is a worthwhile endeavor for those looking for something a little more contemplative than traditional Hollywood fare.

The film unfolds over a discourse between two characters in a Pakistani cafe. When an American academic is kidnapped from the local university, CIA officials think that a charismatic professor might hold necessary and timely answers. Changez (Riz Ahmed) is viewed as a rising star on the political/terrorism scene. And indeed, he seems to hold much influence over the student activists that rally around him. Into the cafe comes a journalist/operative (Liev Schrieber) sent by the CIA to get answers and find a location on the missing man.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good movie that brings attention to the Islamaphobia that exists ...
A good movie that brings attention to the Islamaphobia that exists in the world, which needs to be eradicated. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Joseph Wronka
3.0 out of 5 stars somewhat disappointed
The novel was eloquent and amazing. It involves a long monologue between Changez and a listener who from all indications appears to be a CIA type. Read more
Published 1 month ago by K. Hulse
2.0 out of 5 stars slow slow slow
the only thing I can say good about this is it has Live Schreiber. watched it for 45 minutes and just couldn't get into it. Live, as usual, looked awesome tho.
Published 1 month ago by dmw1125
5.0 out of 5 stars Fundamentalism still unexplained...
I would highly recommend this movie to whose who want to understand how an individual turns to fundamentalism. Read more
Published 2 months ago by esther ratner
3.0 out of 5 stars Mira Nair’s Political Thriller Drama Trying to Cover Too Many Points
One of the best assets of “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” Mira Nair’s ambitious thriller drama, is the talented players, especially Riz Ahmed as Changez Khan, a professor at Lahore... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Tsuyoshi
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome film!!!
I wish this was played in all of the theaters. The film world didn't give it much play time. Maybe it had to do with the current subject matter, but even still it's an Excellent... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Gigi
1.0 out of 5 stars too bad
The movie quality was really bad, it was so dark I couldn't see what was going on, so got frustrated and stopped watching it after fifteen minutes. Read more
Published 3 months ago by christine beniwal
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking piece - a different angle
A thought provoking piece - a different angle of 9/11, and I think something everyone should see. It feels more real as a story of how people change, and the war on terror, than... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ankita Ritwik
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves to be on the Booker Mann short list.
This book is so interesting and well written that I read it twice. The work really makes one think about the distrust
between Americans and Pakistanis. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Cheryl Ginter
5.0 out of 5 stars A great movie with a message!
If you think all Muslims are terrorists you will hate this movie.

If you are a member of Al Qaeda you will hate this movie. Read more
Published 5 months ago by O. L. Codger
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