Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist is making all the right noises. First came the announcement that it will have it open the 69th Venice International Film Festival with its world premiere. And today it was announced that the film will have its gala at the Toronto International Film Festival as well.
It’s an adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s acclaimed book by the same name. It stars Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber, Martin Donovan, Om Puri and Shabana Azmi. It has been adapted by William Wheeler, with the screen story by Mohsin Hamid, and Ami Boghani, has cinematography of Declan Quinn, production design by Michael Carlin, costumes by Arjun Bhasin and edited by Shimit Amin. The music includes both the old and new Pakistani sounds with the iconoclastic Michael Andrews scoring and a new original song by Peter Gabriel.
Few new stills of the film are online now and here’s the slideshow of the same…
If you haven’t read the book, here’s the official synopsis from the Venice Festival’s website…
Student demonstrations are raging in Lahore, as young Pakistani professor Changez Khan and a journalist, Bobby Lincoln, share a cup of tea and conversation. Princeton-educated Changez tells Lincoln of his past as a brilliant business analyst on Wall Street. He talks of the glittering future that lay before him and the beautiful and sophisticated Erica whom he was set to share that future with.
But then 9/11 changes everything. Attitudes shift dramatically – his very name and face rendering him suspect. Returning to his homeland and the family to whom he is very close, he takes up a post as lecturer at the local university, a hotbed of radicalism and the new militant academia.
The collegial pretense of the meeting in a Lahore teahouse, between Lincoln and Changez, slowly gives way to why the unlikely pair has gathered on a summer day – another professor has been kidnapped by extremists, and the clock is ticking toward a deadline for his execution. Changez’s family is being harassed and is in real danger. Bobby is there to listen, with an agenda of his own. Taking us through the culturally rich and beguiling worlds of New York, Lahore and Istanbul, The Reluctant Fundamentalist is an exploration of prejudice and the phenomenon of globalization that is both exhilirating and deeply unsettling.