The screen version of Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, a phenomenally successful novel about friendship, betrayal and redemption, set against the turmoil in Afghanistan during the last 30 years, is an example of how good intentions don't necessarily make for a good movie. Screenwriter David Benioff and director Marc Forster are faithful to the novel to a fault, retaining a level of narrative detail that bogs down the storyline about a haunted Afghan American man who is blessed with the chance to rectify a wrong he committed years ago.
The film's early scenes establishing the boyhood bond between the privileged Amir and the servant's son Hassan effectively set up the tragic turn of events that forever separate the two, both in the physical and the emotional sense. As Hassan, young Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada is perfectly cast - his eyes are expressive beyond their years, and he projects the inherent goodness essential to the role. But as the film progresses, it loses its narrative focus and never really recovers, even when the grown-up Amir returns to his native country, a ruined place he no longer recognizes.