The Reluctant Fundamentalist | Chicago Reader

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Rated R 130 minutes 2013

Mira Nair is so effective and important as a chronicler of the South Asian experience in America (Mississippi Masala, The Namesake) that one hates to see her wasting her time on stuff like Vanity Fair and Amelia. This sure-handed adaptation of Mohsin Hamid's international best seller shows Nair at her best, tracing the slow radicalization of a young, brilliant Pakistani (Riz Amed) who wins a prestigious corporate-raider job in the U.S. but becomes a target of prejudice and racial profiling after the 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center. The flashback structure is key to the movie's suspense, encouraging a game of did-he-or-didn’t-he as the young man, questioned by a journalist (Liev Schreiber) about a recent terrorist kidnapping, recounts the story of his shifting loyalties. Kate Hudson is miscast as the hero's anguished girlfriend, but Kiefer Sutherland is icily effective as his demanding corporate mentor.

Film Credits

Director: Mira Nair

Producer: Lydia Dean Pilcher

Cast: Riz Ahmed, Liev Schreiber, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi, Haluk Bilginer, Martin Donovan, Nelsan Ellis, Adil Hussain, Christopher Smith and Victor Slezak

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