The Reluctant Fundamentalist2013
The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2013)
Critic Consensus: The Reluctant Fundamentalist is technically proficient, with solid acting and cinematography, but its message is so ambitious and heavy-handed that some of its power is robbed.
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Critic Reviews for The Reluctant Fundamentalist
It's a timely narrative subject, but its treatment in The Reluctant Fundamentalist is fundamentally flawed.
Nair has found a real gem in Riz Ahmed, who anchors the film with a charismatically watchable performance. He's in virtually every frame and you hang on his every word.
Ambiguity is at the heart of the novel, but Nair is never quite sure what to do with it.
As a culture-clash story the film works well enough, but as a character study it's a bit of a scramble.
It most disappoints as a thriller, the flashbacks and voiceovers and romantic entanglements so dominating the proceedings you forget that someone is bound and gagged in real time.
Audience Reviews for The Reluctant Fundamentalist
In "The Reluctant Fundamentalist," Anse Rainier(Gary Richardson), an American university professor, has been kidnapped in Lahore, Pakistan. Bobby Lincoln(Liev Schreiber), a journalist, has a lead in Changez(Riz Ahmed), a professor with supposed ties to local militants. Changez agrees to talk to Bobby but insists at starting at the beginning, like his being recruited out of Princeton University at Underwood Samson, a top investment firm, by Jim Cross(Kiefer Sutherland, perhaps doing penance for playing America's favorite crypto-fascist) in 2000. "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" take great aims to show the world is not that simple, while being very critical of both rampant capitalism and fundamentalism and keenly exploring notions of identity in the post 9/11 world. So much so, that the movie lacks any sense of urgency which is a definite problem concerning its framing device. Look, I could listen to Riz Ahmed and Liev Schreiber shoot the breeze all day, but we really don't need to hear Changez talk so much about him having hot, sweaty sex with his artist girlfriend Erica(Kate Hudson)..........ok, maybe just a little.
A charismatic lead character and good production values, but the story just states the obvious and is rather pointless. I also found the love story sub-plot quite implausible and boring.
A little long, and a little slow at times, but I like how this film showed different perspectives, demonstrated how things are not always as they seem, and how paranoia greatly interferes. This is an interesting movie about the inner conflicts of a man who straddles two worlds. On one hand, he has bought into the American dream of wealth, status, luxury. Yet his Pakistani roots with a modest family income, and meaningful work pull in the opposite direction. Add to that the alienation he feels when he is treated terribly by his adopted American society after 9/11. Well crafted, beautifully acted...especially by Riz Ahmed, and Liev Schreiber.
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