68 user 104 critic

The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012)

2:29 | Trailer
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.


Mira Nair


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





Cast overview, first billed only:
Riz Ahmed ... Changez
Kate Hudson ... Erica
Liev Schreiber ... Bobby Lincoln
Kiefer Sutherland ... Jim Cross
Om Puri ... Abu
Shabana Azmi ... Ammi
Martin Donovan ... Ludlow Cooper
Nelsan Ellis ... Wainwright
Haluk Bilginer ... Nazmi Kemal
Meesha Shafi Meesha Shafi ... Bina
Imaaduddin Shah ... Sameer (as Imaad Shah)
Christopher Nicholas Smith ... Mike Rizzo (as Chris Smith)
Ashwath Bhatt Ashwath Bhatt ... Junaid
Sarah Quinn Sarah Quinn ... Clea
Chandrachur Singh ... 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


When one day changes the world forever. See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


"Changez" is a Pakistani version of Genghis, from Genghis Khan. 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: [about watching the events of 9/11 unfold] In that moment, I should have felt sorrow or anger, but all I felt was awe. What audacity. The ruthlessness of the act was surpassed only by its genius. And David had struck Goliath. I'm sorry if my reaction to the attacks has offended you, Bobby. I hope you see that I'm not celebrating at the death of 3,000 innocents, just as you would not celebrate the death of 100,000 in Baghdad or Kabul, for that matter. But before conscience kicks in, have you ...
See more »


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


Music and words by Peter Gabriel
Urdu vocal arrangement by Atif Aslam
Inspired by Faiz Ahmed Faiz's Poem "Bol"
Performed by Peter Gabriel with Atif Aslam
Recorded by Richard "Dickie" Chappell
Mixed by Tchad Blake
Peter Gabriel appears Courtesy of Real World Records
See more »

User Reviews

25 August 2013 | by aqueelam-486-804449See 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.

21 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 68 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



USA | UK | Qatar


English | Urdu

Release Date:

3 May 2013 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Reluctant Fundamentalist See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,920, 28 April 2013

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed