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The Reluctant Fundamentalist

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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 (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,420 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

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


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

Customer Reviews

Well acted, directed, edited, great cinematography.
gail brice
It ends up feeling like a series of vignettes involving the same person, but some of the variation in the film's mood shift too much for one film to contain.
You may have a different take on this but I got bored and found myself not really caring about what happens and more how much longer till its over.
Tony Heck

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 2, 2013
Format: DVD
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 5 people found the following review helpful By applewood on September 15, 2013
Format: DVD
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By SanjeevP TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 7, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Mira Nair has crafted a beautiful movie. This is the story of other side: hundreds and thousands of innocent Muslims subjected to unnecessary security measures in the name of terrorism prevention and how their lives are shattered.

Videography is beautiful. Sufi music in this movie is divine and moves your heart. Changez Khan is perfect for the role, and so is Kate Hudson. Perfectly crafted movie and there is not a thing that I can criticize.

Too bad the US studios were not brave enough to release this movie widely.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 18, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
This is the story of Changez (Riz Ahmed of `Four Lions' and `Ill Manors') who we meet whilst being interviewed by a `journalist' Bobby Lincoln in 2011. We are then carted back to 2001 to explain how we got to be in a tea house in Pakistan discussing the kidnapping of a US citizen and lecturer. In 2001 Changez managed to land a job with top American consultant firm Underwood Samson. They are the people that turn up and make a company more efficient, mainly by re shaping personnel or `sacking' as we used to call it. He is spotted by corporate nasty played by Kiefer Sutherland.

Then September 11th happens and it is a game changer he also grows a beard which seems to attract way too much attention from the authorities even if it is a bit unkempt. So he returns to Pakistan having had his ambition singed by his overseas experiences, once at home he starts to mix with people who are much closer to their religion than him and have a whole different way of thinking. What follows is a story of intrigue and religion and a mighty clash of cultures in all senses.

This is a quietly intense film that is often full of suspense, the acting is all excellent. Bobby Lincoln is played by Liev Schreiber (`X-Men Origins' and `Defiance') and he is ruddy excellent. We also have an appearance from Indian screen legend Om Puri which was a nice touch.

This has good production values and nice attention to detail; and even at 130 minutes did not out stay its welcome. It is always hard to deal in a balanced way with such thorny issues as `fundamentalism' or `radicalisation' but I think director Mira Nair has done a very good job. This was an adaptation of the book by Moshin Hamad who also co wrote the screen play so they have tried to capture the spirit of the book and succeeded to a large extent. An intriguing and thought provoking film that I actually really enjoyed and hope you will too.
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