The Reluctant Fundamentalist Blu-ray Review
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Reluctant Fundamentalist is
latest effort from acclaimed filmmaker Mira Nair (Monsoon
Wedding, The Namesake).
The film is based on an international bestseller from author Mohsin
story is an intense, intelligent, and well-crafted one that takes place
the aftermath of 9/11 and it especially focuses upon one characters
relation to it.
film focuses upon a Pakistani professor named Changez
(Riz Ahmed) who is under serious CIA investigation as a terrorist
who is thought to be involved in the kidnapping of a American teacher.
person helping to aid the CIA in looking into this matter is a smart
writer (performed by Liev Schreiber).
the story unfolds, Changez tells about how he became a
teacher and where he is today - about how he moved to America, his path
business success with a high-profile company run by his business savvy
(Kiefer Sutherland), and the story of his romance with a New York
Hudson). His story is one of great ambitions and hopes in the land of
but it's undermined with the sadness of racial responses that affect
following 9/11. As we explore his story we learn about what happened to
America, and we wonder: did he actually help to kidnap the American? Or
an example of a giant misunderstanding? Everything surrounds his story
the core element of the entire film as it's unfolding.
hard to imagine that tomorrow morning, it will be another
anniversary forever connected to September 11th, 2001. It is difficult
imagine that as I write this review that the date is again approaching.
day is forever etched in my mind. I was attending middle
school, a school kid, and seated in a large(ish)
school gym. I was sitting on the ground and I hadn't been too engaged
physical activity that day. My classmates and I were simply discussing
something fun like Pokemon or Dragon
Ball Z and we were just having an
ordinary school day. At least, that's
what everyone thought before the day progressed.
mere moments of time, the student body of my school
(including my entire class) heard an announcement made from the
that all of the teachers should immediately turn on the television sets
had them in their classrooms and turn to the news. It was a shocking
one of horror, confusion, and fear that gripped all of us. The first
already hit the World Trade Center. In just a few brief moments we went
witnessing newscasters discussing the aftermath of a terrible incident
seeing the second airplane in moments crashing into the building. I
the discussion about whether or not it had resulted from some terrible
accident, before the question of terrorism even arrived. I hadn't
terrorism before that day and wasn't fully aware of these issues facing
world; certainly not to the extent considered today.
thing that I absolutely wish wasn't true about the
aftermath of 9/11 was that there became intense hatred from countless
against all middle-eastern individuals and there was racial-profiling
significant numbers towards anyone deemed to look like a "terrorist".
This sickened me at the time and it still does now. So
many equated race to mean
"terrorist" to a horrifying degree.
my own age started to talk about how bombing
Afghanistan and other countries, wiping out everything, would be the
solution for America. I remember thinking about people in these
were not terrorists at all. The ordinary people just trying to survive;
to live their lives amidst these terrible circumstances. It was
recognize how so many were being grouped together based on race. This
to a significant point: this is an issue at the core of the story to The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Nair may not have crafted her best film to date with The
Reluctant Fundamentalist (Monsoon Wedding still
holds that crowning
distinction) but it is easily one of her most important
efforts to date. The issues it addresses are extremely
relevant to this day.
directing voice is just as distinct and special in this
film too; remarkably, she manages to add great moments set to music and
and she even has highlighted some great costumes and production
the serious dramatics and thriller aspects of the film.
brings great performances from the entire cast of
actors. This is a film with a stellar lead performance from Ahmed. The
supporting cast is also excellent. Hudson delivers something
rewarding with her performance; one of her career best to date. I don't
performance by Sutherland is anything to slouch about either. Everyone
"gave it their all" in making this film.
filmmaker and person, Nair is intelligent and wise and wanted to make a
ignorance from others not willing to listen; for those in America who
Muslins as terrorists and the foreigners who viewed all Americans as
individuals amidst the Bush-era of our government as a post 9/11 hatred
from so many. The Reluctant
Fundamentalist is ultimately about peace, the search for common
acceptance that we are all alike even as we are different. It's
remarkable and brave and one of the most important films of the year as
features a impressive transfer which retains the original
theatrical exhibition ratio of 2.40:1. The MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer
generally strong bitrates that approach the mid-30's mbps frequently,
averages out somewhere in the 20 mbps category. The image is generally
sharp, and feature visually impressive cinematography during the
5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
presentation for the film has notable clarity, depth, and bass
is clean, clear, and easy to understand. Surround activity is actually
reasonably good with nice added ambiance. The music and sound effects
main supplement is a 32 minute
documentary on the making of the film, presented in High Definition,
featuring behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with cast members
director, Mira Nair, who offers some of her intelligent thoughts on the
original theatrical trailer is
Reluctant Fundamentalist is
one of the best movies of the
year: intelligent, emotionally brave, and insightful. It was made by a
filmmaker, Mira Nair; who is still one remarkable filmmaker with a lot
left to tell. Any cinema-fan should consider this important film as
deserving of consideration. It is a true cinematic gem.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.