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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 »



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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:




| |



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?


"Changez" is a Pakistani version of Genghis, from Genghis Khan. See more »


In Chang's flashback to 2001, Erica takes a photo with her Canon EOS 5D, but the camera was not announced by Canon until 2005. See more »


Nazmi Kemal: Nazmi: "Have you heard of the janissaries?"
Changez: Changez: "No."
Nazmi Kemal: Nazmi: "They were Christian boys, captured by the Ottomans at an early age. They were educated to forget their own culture and trained to be soldiers in their army. Then, as fanatical Muslims, they were set loose on the Christian countries from which they were taken."
See more »


Featured in Maltin on Movies: Pain & Gain (2013) See more »


Written and Performed by Robert Walter
Produced by Robert Walter
See more »

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User Reviews

Simply Beautiful !!
17 May 2013 | by (Bangalore, India) – See all my reviews

This beautiful movie is about how the new era of fear is dividing East and West, featuring UK-based writer Mohsim Hamid's critically acclaimed book, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, about the impact of Sept 11th on Muslims living abroad post 9/11 attacks & its psychological and political damage. It's a tale of mixed loyalties and one man's journey into the heart of the conflict.

Hamid has published a novel about the aftermath of September 11th. It's based on a character whose life mirrors his own accomplishments, but whose subsequent journey and fate is very different. The book is entitled "The Reluctant Fundamentalist".

The main character, Chengez, is living in New York at the time of the attacks. The new western hostility towards his country, to his people, and to an ancient and complex civilization shocks Chengez, to the core. He feels as though he has to take sides. Then, quite simply, he has a crackup, followed by a mysterious journey back to Pakistan that may or may not lead to the embrace of fundamentalism.

At a café table in Lahore, a bearded Pakistani man converses with an uneasy American stranger. As dusk deepens to night, he begins the tale that has brought them to this fateful encounter . . .

Changez is living an immigrant's dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he works at the elite valuation firm of Underwood Samson. He thrives on the energy of New York, and his budding romance with elegant, beautiful Erica promises entry into Manhattan society at the same exalted level once occupied by his own family back in Lahore.

But in the wake of September 11, Changez finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned, and his budding relationship with Erica eclipsed by the reawakened ghosts of her past. The romance is negligible; Erica is emotionally unavailable, endlessly grieving the death of her lifelong friend and boyfriend, Chris. And Changez's own identity is in seismic shift as well, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and maybe even love.

Told in a single monologue, the narrative never flags. Changez is by turn's naive, sinister, unctuous, mildly threatening, overbearing, insulting, angry, resentful, and sad.

Changez is in Manila on 9/11 and sees the towers come down on TV. He tells the American, "...I smiled. Yes, despicable as it may sound, my initial reaction was to be remarkably pleased... I was caught up in the symbolism of it all, the fact that someone had so visibly brought America to her knees..." When he returns to New York, there is a palpable change in attitudes toward him, starting right at immigration. His name and his face render him suspect.

He exorcises that feeling and once again appreciates his home for its "unmistakable personality and idiosyncratic charm." While at home, he lets his beard grow. Advised to shave it, even by his mother, he refuses.

His company sends him to Istanbul for another business valuation; his mind filled with the troubles in Pakistan and the U.S. involvement with India that keeps the pressure on. Beautiful screenplay and great Urdu- English blend of dialogues makes it really worth a watch on the big screen.

24 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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