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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.



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





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ludlow Cooper
Nazmi Kemal
Sameer (as Imaad Shah)
Mike Rizzo (as Chris Smith)
Ashwath Bhatt ...
Sarah Quinn ...
Bandy Uncle


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


Terror has two faces. See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

3 May 2013 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

El fundamentalista reticente  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$30,920 (USA) (26 April 2013)


$519,535 (USA) (7 June 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


The first line recorded by Bobby in the tea house differs from the first line he heard on his recordings after the whole drama. A dialogue that was not recorded was heard later in that recording. See more »


Changez: After 9/11, you could choose your side. I had my side chosen for me.
See more »


References CSI: Miami (2002) See more »


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)
See more »

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User Reviews

25 August 2013 | by See all my reviews

Haunting adaptation with a soundtrack that is poignant and moves rhythmically with the movie - the song in the second half "mori araj suno" (hear my plea) is heartbreakingly apt and stays with you long after the movie is over.

Incorrectly categorized as a thriller, this movie is a slow philosophical debate over whether some aspects of the war on terror has alienated "asians" towards the other side.....Mira Nair has done an excellent adaptation - the narrative is crisp yet detailed and effectively raises questions which should be debated. This world is not the dichotomy created by Bush with his "either you are with us or against us" speech. The subject matter has been handled with delicacy - giving the lead - Changez - time to develop and pull at our heartstrings.

For the most part Nair gives an authentic impression of Lahore and Pakistan. As a current Lahore resident, even the slightest aberration from authenticity grates, so my apologies to those who found the movie clean in its depiction.

Riz Ahmed as Changez gives a performance that is the core of the movie

  • his slow slide towards what he perceives his identity to be is

painful to watch and is sad because it is so unnecessary. Excellent at conveying a range of emotion through his eyes alone, Riz looks and acts the part, valiantly also maintaining an authentic Pakistani Urdu accent for much of the movie.

Kudos to Liev Schreiber for taking control of the character and introducing thin layers of empathy and antagonism which are palpable. After watching him, I am left wondering why he does not do more independent work because he is clearly brilliant as a character actor.

My two requests to Mira: first - please somehow re-shoot the scenes where you show smartphones in 2002/2003. A gaffe like this takes away from the seriousness of the subject matter and excellent direction and editing with nimble camera-work. Second - please come to Lahore and visit a university here to see what the students look like and how they speak. Unfortunately, for those of us who could tell the difference, it was like watching Englishmen pretending to be Americans and failing to emulate the dress code, accent, dialect and colloquial speak.

My gripes aside, I highly recommend this movie. And I repeat - it is NOT a thriller.

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