The Kite Runner

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Chantelle DaCunha
January, 14th 2013
ENG- E4U
Mrs. Nizic

The Kite Runner Novel Vs. Film

Transforming a novel into a film can be a very challenging task to do. This is due to the fact that a novel has many key factors that make up the plot and it is nearly impossible to compress them in a certain time frame. Mark Forster’s adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s coming of age novel “The Kite Runner” is a weak portrayal of the originally work because specific scenes lacked intense emotion, specific scenes were left out completely and specific scenes were poorly altered.

The changes made in the movie have a significant effect on the overall message of the story. One of the parts in the film that lacked intense emotion compared to the novel was the rape scene, and how it was never physically shown, just implied. In the novel, guilt stands out as one of the key themes. Amir’s conscience has the guilt of Hassan’s rape throughout the whole novel which leads him to making decisions he most likely would not have made if the rape did not happen, an example of this would be saving Sohrab. In the novel, the scene is explained through the narration of Amir in sensory detail. “Assef knelt behind Hassan, put his hands on Hassan’s hips and lifted his bare buttocks. He kept one hand on Hassan’s back and undid his own belt buckle with his free hand. He unzipped his jeans. Dropped his underwear. He positioned himself behind Hassan. Hassan didn’t struggle. Didn’t even whimper.” (Page 75) As one can see this scene is explained with great detail which gives the story more depth and emotion. This scene not only shapes the movie but it also shapes Amir, whom is the main character. As for the film, the scene does not physically show the rape, the scene just implies it happened. While reading this scene in the novel one has a clear understanding why Amir makes the decisions he does. As for the film the rape scene lacked emotion, therefore the viewers do not truly understand how this scene genuinely affected Amir and his future decisions. Additionally, the idea that Amir watches the rape and fails to do anything brings out a critical theme in the novel; the need to take action, which Rahim Khan explains to Amir. In the novel, Amir Visit’s Rahim Khan in Pakistan because Rahim is very ill and wants to see Amir. He speaks to Amir and tells him that he is aware of what happened in the alley way many years ago. Rahim Khan tells Amir that Hassan told him what happened, which means that Hassan knew that Amir was unloyal towards him and left him to get tortured that day. This is when Rahim Khan told Amir that he can change; he can become good again if he saves Sohrab, Hassan’s son. This scene in the novel is filled with emotion and surprises, which turns the whole novel upside down. In contrast, the film lack’s emotions in this scene compared to the scene in the novel. The film shows that Amir does visit Rahim Khan in Pakistan; the only thing that differs is what Rahim Khan confronts Amir about. In the film, Rahim Khan told Amir “There is a way to be good again.” In this scene of the film it was never explained clearly that Rahim Khan knew about the rape, it was only implied. In summary, the film “The Kite Runner” lacked depth and emotion that the novel was clearly filled with. Some of the main and crucial events that further enhanced the book have been taken out from the film. This action has left out a lot of answers that were known from the book and left viewers guessing. Specifically in the film Sohrab’s suicide attempt was exempted from the film. Even though this may be something small to cut out, this would have brought more emotion and depth to the film with greater explanations. By cutting this out of the film the viewers do not get to see how heavily Assef affected Sohrab. Amir planned to bring Sohrab back to America with him but he may have to send Sohrab...
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