"Quantum of Solace"-Director Marc Forster's biography reads like a screenplay itself. It's the story of a boy from the Swiss mountains who at the age of 12 set himself the goal of becoming a film director.
In the 70's in Afghanistan, the Pushtun boy Amir and the Hazara boy Hassan, who is his loyal friend and son of their Hazara servant Ali, are raised together in Amir's father house, playing and kitting on the streets of a peaceful Kabul. Amir feels that his wise and good father Baba blames him for the death of his mother in the delivery, and also that his father loves and prefers Hassan to him. In return, Amir feels a great respect for his father's best friend Rahim Khan, who supports his intention to become a writer. After Amir winning a competition of kitting, Hassan runs to bring a kite to Amir, but he is beaten and raped by the brutal Assef in an empty street to protect Amir's kite; the coward Amir witness the assault but does not help the loyal Hassam. On the day after his birthday party, Amir hides his new watch in Hassam's bed to frame the boy as a thief and force his father to fire Ali, releasing his conscience from recalling his cowardice and betrayal. In 1979, the Russians ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Director Mark Forster mentions in the DVD commentary that his passion to make the film as authentic as possible was responsible for his insistence on filming Afghanistani characters speaking in Dari (with English subtitles). Author Khaled Hosseini says "Iran and Afghanistan share a language - they call it Farsi in Iran and we call it Dari in Afghanistan - it's essentially the same language, but the accent is very different." He mentions that the speaker at the soccer game is speaking in Pashdu, the other main language of Afghanistan. See more »
Rahim looks at the picture of Soraya, Amir's wife, and puts it down on the table (at around 20 mins), but we don't actually see where he puts it. In the next shot, the picture is not seen anymore. See more »
[as Dr. Starobin examines him]
Where are you from?
I grew up in Michigan. Came out here for medical school. Once you get used to that California sunshine...
But your family?
My family? We're originally from Russia.
[Baba shoves him away, and is next seen with a different doctor]
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I just watched this film at an advanced screening. I had not read the book, and knew nothing of the story, but went because the book was voted "Book of the Year" by two local colleges. So I cannot compare the book with the movie as others have done.
In short, I thought this was an incredibly moving story. The acting was believable, and the insight into Afghan culture and political history was both interesting and shocking. My oldest friend is Iranian-American, and so I felt an affinity for certain Middle Eastern values and traditions that were portrayed in the movie, as they reminded me of the times I spent with his family.
The themes of friendship, family, human values, and courage under fire are universal, and are well developed in the film. I won't list the plot details, as these can be obtained elsewhere. But based on the film's technical aspects, the acting, and, above all, its heart-wrenching story, I would definitely recommend this movie.
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