The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Directed by Mira Nair
A boldly dramatic adaptation of a remarkable, timely novel, Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist promises to be one of the most talked about films of the year. Mixing romance and tragedy with the classic arc of ambition thwarted, Nair brings Mohsin Hamid’s award-winning 2007 book to the screen with both passion and insight.
We begin in 2011 in Lahore. At an outdoor café a Pakistani man named Changez (Riz Ahmed) tells Bobby (Liev Schreiber), an American journalist, about his experiences in the United States. Roll back ten years, and we find a younger Changez fresh from Princeton, seeking fortune and glory on Wall Street. The American Dream seems well within his grasp, complete with a smart and gorgeous artist girlfriend, Erica (Kate Hudson). But when the Twin Towers are attacked, a cultural divide slowly begins to crack open between Changez and Erica. Changez’s dream soon begins to slip into nightmare: profiled and wrongfully arrested, he is transformed from an upwardly mobile businessman to a perceived enemy. With time, he begins to hear the call of his own homeland.
Ahmed gives a magnificently textured performance as the aptly named Changez, whose attitude evolves from an eager willingness to assimilate to a deep dejection with his adopted country. Ahmed and his castmates (among them Kiefer Sutherland and Om Puri) are aided greatly by Nair’s assured direction. The story they tell is one of profound, global implications.
—Adapted from Toronto International Film Festival
Co-presented by: 3rd i
Executive Producer: Hani Farsi
Producer: Lydia Dean Pilcher
Writers: Mohsin Hamid, William Wheeler, Ami Boghani
Mohsin Hamid, William Wheeler, Ami Boghani: Declan Quinn
Editor: Shimit Amin
Sound: Mark Cornish, Vivek Sachidanand
Music: Michael Andrews
Cast: Kiefer Sutherland, Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber