Movie Review – The Reluctant Fundamentalist

In 2011, Anse Rainier, an American professor at Lahore University, is kidnapped soon after he leaves a movie theatre. A ransom video is sent to the US embassy, demanding the release of 690 detainees from what is described as a Muslim concentration camp in Kot Lakphat and €700,000 for the children of Waziristan. Bobby Lincoln, an American journalist and undercover CIA informant in Pakistan, arranges to interview a colleague of Rainer, Changez Khan, whom he suspects is involved in the kidnapping.

Changez starts off the interview, held in a café, by declaring his admiration for the American equal playing field in economic advancement. He belongs to a class of people who, while genteel and educated, increasingly find themselves left out of economic progress. His father is an elderly poet and man of letters, who is respected by all who know him. Nevertheless, money has always been a serious problem in the family and Changez was only able to attend college when he got a scholarship to Princeton University.  After graduation, he earned a job position at a top Wall Street valuation firm, Underwood Samson. Meanwhile, he met a young American photographer, Erica, and a relationship developed.

The World Trade Center attacks takes place while Changez is in Manila on business. When he returns to the USA, he is strip-searched at the airport in New York. Later on, he is thoroughly interrogated by federal agents, after being mistakenly arrested in the street as he left the Underwood Samson building. His attitude toward the USA seems to change, as does his relationship with Erica, who has yet to come to terms with the loss of her former boyfriend, feeling responsible for his death. Changez eventually breaks up with her, after she invites him to the opening of her art show: she had used intimate details of their relationship without his knowledge, which he takes as a betrayal.

While valuating a publishing house in Istanbul, Changez discovered that the otherwise worthless firm had translated some of his father’s work into Turkish and published them. He realized that the company had preserved culture, something that cannot be measured merely in terms of money. His boss at Underwood Samson, Jim Cross, does not see it that way, viewing Changez’s attitude as unprofessional. Feeling an ever-increasing conflict between his desire of success and his sense of loyalty, between the way he saw himself and the way he was now treated, Changez finally resigns from Underwood Samson.                 Read more on the article

One thought on “Movie Review – The Reluctant Fundamentalist”

  1. This film budget was 15 million but only made $2,167,020 at the box office. This made me wonder who is controlling the media. Is the media hiding from the truth to the viewers?
    This film was an excellent production and it should deserve more recognition.

    Like

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