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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 »
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3,833 ( 1,814)
3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Abu
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Ammi
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Ludlow Cooper
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Wainwright
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Nazmi Kemal
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Bina
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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:

When one day changes the world forever. 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

Country:

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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) (26 April 2013)

Gross:

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

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 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 »

Quotes

Changez: Pretend I'm him.
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

Kaindey Ney Naina
Written by Wazie Afzal
Performed by Zahra Haider Khan (as Zahra Khan)
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User Reviews

 
Coping with a time of Terrorism
2 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For those who have read Mohsin Hamid's brilliant novel on which this film is based the story will be easier to follow than the somewhat disconnected screenplay that was written by Hamid with Ami Boghani and William Wheeler. Mira Nair directs, and knowing her previous work suggests that it is this very disconnect that she wishes to emphasize in this profoundly moving film - in these times of global unrest and fear because of terrorist acts we don't know who to trust and who to dislike, but the answer is that there is no right or wrong. Nair achieves this by beginning her film with a conversation between an American journalist Bobby (Liev Schreiber) and a Pakistani professor Changez (Riz Ahmed) in a setting of high tension in a bar in Lahore and our initial belief is that the Bobby represents the core we trust and with whom we identify, that Changez is the unknown 'different culture' stranger who is suspect. In the course of the film that position is deeply altered. And that is where the power of the message is so affecting. But we must go through flashbacks of eleven years to understand the real drama.

Changez Khan (the very handsome and very fine actor Riz Ahmed) lives with his poet father Abu (Om Purl) and mother Ammi (Shabana Azmi) in Pakistan. The family is poor but educated and Changez decides to go to America to find his place in the corporate world of money and success - and help support his family (his sister is ready to marry but the family can ill afford a traditional wedding). Changez arrives in America, attends university, and rises rapidly, gaining a position with a Wall Street company that specializes in financial advising for business internationally. The head of the company Jim Cross (Kiefer Sutherland) personally picks Changez after testing his skills and sends Changez on missions to the Philippines etc where he examines the finances, cuts waste (and jobs of workers) and makes the businesses run efficiently, increase profits, but sacrificing the working class. On one such mission Changez is asked to analyze a publishing house in Istantbul, the owner Nazmi (Haluk Bilginer) has translated Changez' fathers poetry into Turkish, and pleads with Changez not to destroy his publishing house. Cross demands Changez shut it down and Changez refuses and submits his resignation. As he prepares to pack to return, jobless, to the US he is watching television and the twin towers of 9/11 are being attacked. His attempts to return to the US are met with police and airport interrogations since he is not a native born American, and this allows the viewer to witness the horrible and demeaning treatment 'foreigners' received in the wake of 9/11.

Changez does return to New York and has another setback with his photographer artist girlfriend Erica (Kate Hudson), herself deeply bruised by the loss of her lover in a car crash she caused in the recent past, who has an art opening that includes videos and images of bits of conversation she has shared with Changez - information which in the exhibition further underlines the concept of Changez as a potential terrorist. Changez flees to Pakistan, becomes an anti-violence but fiery professor whose students seek to rid their Pakistan of the American intruders. And this is where the conversation at film's beginning ultimately makes sense (it is now 2011). The manner in which the film ends is left for the viewer to experience. As in the book there are many sidebar stories and characters that underline the stories of both Bobby (who has been talked into joining the CIA) and Changez who moves from his love of the American Dream and his sweetheart, to his spiritual commitment to his Pakistan. These characters, as well as many others in this film, allow us to see there is no one way to view acts as right or wrong. It is all perception and hopefully this brilliant film will assist us in understanding the confusion that deeply affects us all everyday as we walk around the topic of terrorism. Grady Harp, May 13


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