Movies for Readers: The Reluctant Fundamentalist

This week’s Movie for Readers is 2013’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist starring Kate Hudson, Riz Ahmed, Liev Shreiber, Kiefer Sutherland, and Om Puri.  The movie is based upon the 2008 novel of the same name by Mohsin Hamid and tells the story of a young Pakistani who was working in New York when the murders of 9-11 happened in that city.  The man had an American girlfriend and a very successful career going for him at the time, but the way he was treated after 9-11 left him, he felt, no choice but to return home to his people and their problems.

I watched the movie the other night, but although I have had a copy of it for quite a while, still have not read the novel.  The movie left me a little cold in the sense that I did not find any of the characters to be particularly sympathetic ones despite the situations they found themselves in.  What I remember most about the movie is some of the absolutely haunting music it includes, especially the opening sequence featuring a song called “Kangana” that is performed by Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad.

I’m including both the movie trailer and the five-minute sequence featuring “Kangna.” Turn the sound up loud for the song, close your eyes, and imagine yourself in a Pakistani coffeehouse…

The Movie Trailer:


“Kangana” as featured in the film’s opening five minute sequence:

I think I need to find my copy of the book now…more later.

2 thoughts on “Movies for Readers: The Reluctant Fundamentalist

    • I’m half way through the book right now and finding it very different from the movie. Some scenes that are in both have been shifted chronologically, some scenes are not in the book, and the tone (at least so far) is far less sensational than that of the movie.

      Liked by 1 person

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