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The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012)

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A young Pakistani man is chasing corporate success on Wall Street. He finds himself embroiled in a conflict between his American Dream, a hostage crisis, and the enduring call of his family's homeland.

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Writers:

(eulogy in urdu), (screen story) | 3 more credits »
3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Bobby Lincoln
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Abu
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Ludlow Cooper
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Wainwright
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Sameer (as Imaad Shah)
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Mike Rizzo (as Chris Smith)
Ashwath Bhatt ...
Junaid
Sarah Quinn ...
Clea
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Bandy Uncle
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Storyline

A young Pakistani man is chasing corporate success on Wall Street. He finds himself embroiled in a conflict between his American Dream, a hostage crisis, and the enduring call of his family's homeland.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Terror has two faces. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violence and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

3 May 2013 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

El fundamentalista reticente  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$30,920 (USA) (28 April 2013)

Gross:

$519,535 (USA) (9 June 2013)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song, Bijli Aye Ya Na Aye is an Meesha Shafi's alternate version of the song Batti Aye Ya Na Aye, which is by her previous band Overload. This led to a dispute between Shafi and Overload, as to who owns the copyright of the song. See more »

Goofs

The military men aren't wearing Pakistan's military or militia uniform but Indian Border Security Force's (ISF) See more »

Quotes

Changez: Pretend I'm him.
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Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Venice Film Festival 2012 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Raga Misra Mand
Written By Ali Akbar Khan and Nikhil Banerjee
Performed By Ali Akbar Khan and Nikhil Banerjee
Produced By Mary J. Khan (AMMP)
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User Reviews

No simple question. No simple answer.
2 June 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Four years after I read the impressive novel by Mohsin Hamid, I went to see the film which is based on the book. I wondered how a novel, which is essentially one long monologue by an educated Pakistani called Changez Khan with no other voices whatsoever, would be turned into a big screen offering but reckoned that, if they could do it for such complex works as "Life Of Pi" and "Cloud Atlas", it could work for Hamid's subtle narrative. So it proved.

The 'conversation' in Lahore has been effectively opened out with shooting not just in Pakistan and India but the United States and Turkey, while very effective use is made of music, starting with a dramatic opening scene. The essential clash of cultures, via a confrontation between the reluctant fundamentalist (played by Riz Admed) and the ambiguous American Bobby (Liev Schreiber), is retained, but the film is less opaque than the book, with it being (eventually) much clearer where the two main protagonists stand in the 'war on terror'.

Although the political messages are signposted more simplistically in the film than in the novel, this is still a work that challenges preconceptions about the capitalist West and the religious East and ultimately about ends versus means and good versus evil. Considerable credit should go to Indian director Mira Nair ("Monsoon Wedding" - another culture-conflict movie) and, as well as the excellent main roles, there is strong support in minor roles filled by Kiefer Sutherland and Kate Hudson. Although the turning point for Changez is the attack on the Twin Towers, subsequent events in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere have only served to underline the need for a better understanding of what motivates fundamentalism and how best it should be opposed.

So do see "Zero Dark Thirty" (which I thought was excellent), but also take the trouble to find the much less high profile film "The Reluctant Fundamentalist". At one point in the movie, Changez is asked by an American official: "How do you feel about the United States of America?" It is not a simple question. This film does not offer a simple answer.


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