Kate Hudson and Riz Ahmed help bring Mohsin Hamid’s complex novel to life.
THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST (Mira Nair) Rating: NNNN
In this assured adaptation of Mohsin Hamid's novel, Princeton-educated Changez (Riz Ahmed), a Pakistani émigré with a high-paid job in a U.S. financial firm, finds himself gradually transformed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
Ahmed is excellent as a man outraged that's he's being racially profiled and that his photographer girlfriend (Kate Hudson, the pic's weak link) is crassly exploiting their relationship for her art. Repulsed by his work on Wall Street, he quits, choosing to return to his home country to teach.
He tells his story to an American journalist (Liev Schreiber) who's bent on finding out if Changez knows the whereabouts of a kidnapped professor. Has Changez become a bona fide terrorist? Nair cranks up the tension before we find out.
But that conflict is secondary to what really matters here: the perspective of a man falling out of love with America.