With her biopic Amelia more or less crashing and burning among critics and at the box office we had hoped the next feature from the talented Mira Nair would strike a chord. But after debuting on the fall festival circuit last year her latest drama, The Reluctant Fundamentalistm seemed to land with little buzz.
IFC Films picked it up, however, and are hoping to reignite some anticipation for the film ahead of its spring release and have delivered the first trailer today. While it contains many cliches and standard plotting, it looks simply dull more than anything, but perhaps could make for an solid VOD option. Check it out below for the film starring Kiefer Sutherland, Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber, Nelsan Ellis, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi, Haluk Bilginer and Martin Donovan.
A boldly dramatic adaptation of a remarkable, timely novel, Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist promises to be one of the most talked about films of the year. Mixing romance and tragedy with the classic arc of ambition thwarted, Nair brings Mohsin Hamid’s award-winning 2007 book to the screen with both passion and insight. She also delivers a cracking thriller.
We begin in 2011 in Lahore. At an outdoor café a Pakistani man named Changez (Riz Ahmed) tells Bobby (Liev Schreiber), an American journalist, about his experiences in the United States. Roll back ten years, and we find a younger Changez fresh from Princeton, seeking fortune and glory on Wall Street. The American Dream seems well within his grasp, complete with a smart and gorgeous artist girlfriend, Erica (Kate Hudson). But when the Twin Towers are attacked, a cultural divide slowly begins to crack open between Changez and Erica. (“How does that happen?” Erica asks of the terrorist attacks. “What makes you think I’d know?” he answers.) Changez’s dream soon begins to slip into nightmare: profiled, wrongfully arrested, strip-searched and interrogated, he is transformed from a well-educated, upwardly mobile businessman to a scapegoat and perceived enemy. With time, he begins to hear the call of his own homeland.
Ahmed, who can also be seen at this year’s Festival in iLL Manors, gives a magnificently textured performance as the aptly named Changez, whose attitude evolves from an eager willingness to assimilate to a deep dejection with his adopted country. Ahmed and his castmates — among them Kiefer Sutherland and Om Puri — are aided greatly by Nair’s assured direction and a superb script from Ami Boghani, William Wheeler and Hamid. The story they tell is one of profound, global implications.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist hits theaters on April 24th.