Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Kite Runner

I went to a movie tonight! With grown ups! My mother in law and aunt in law (?!) and sister in law (so many friggin inlaws) and i went to see the Kite Runner. I read the book a couple of years ago and it grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. It was one of those books that you grieve when it is over because you love the people so much. (Unlike my current novel, Happenstance by Carol Shields; I kind of don't really like the people in it, even though it's interesting enough to read through to conclusion...really, if you don't like the people in a story what's the point? I'm an avid reader and appreciate the art of literature as much as the next person but still at the heart of my passion for reading is a love affair with characters).
The movie was released recently and we went to see it tonight. I must say, THIS was a film adaptation that does a book justice AND stands alone in its own right. It was a BEAUTIFUL film, I cried for most of the last half of the movie, and all of the actors do a wonderfully compelling job.
A main theme in the story is shame, especially childhood shame, and I can't help but grieve at how powerfully negative a force guilt is in the human experience. It is capable of destroying so much that is beautiful. Why, I wonder, is it so prevalent in our religion? In our holy book? In our religious history? I digress.
My aunt in law said after the movie that in the early part of the story she began to dislike the main character because he was cowardly and did not step in to defend his best friend as he is brutally beaten and raped, but my response to this part of the story was to weep that a child had to carry the weight of guilt of this magnitude, when no child should be asked to be courageous or brave in the face of such evil. I cried that children DO feel guilt, and shame, and heavy responsibility, in an adult world they have no control over and few mechanisms with which to cope. I wished for a world filled with peace, and wind in the trees, and kindness, for my children.
Also interesting how the truth, which the main character learns as an adult, that his childhood best friend is actually his half brother, sets him free from guilt and fills him with bravery beyond imagination. The truth shall set you free.
Anyways, this movie was wonderful and beautiful and grievously tragic. Go see it. And read the book. It's a story not entirely plot driven, so I won't have ruined it for you.


Asheya said...

I read the book sometime this past year, and it is very powerful. I think one of the things that impacted me the most was the ending - how not everything was solved for the boy, there was in fact very little happiness for him, but there was a glimmer of hope (I don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't read it). I think I saw in this a realistic portrayal of what it's like for children who come through tragedy and trauma, as well as a picture of the country itself.

Ms. Dragonfly said...

I tried reading this book twice. Could not get past the rape. It was too much for me.
(another 'great read' I tried 3x without success was Life of Pi.)