The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012) Movie Review

Director: Mira Nair

Writer: Ami Boghani, William Wheller, Mohsin Hamid (Screenplay) Mohsin Hamid (Novel)

Starring: Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber, Kiefer Sutherland, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi

Plot: 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.


Tagline – When one day changes the world forever.

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Eye Opening Thriller

Story: The Reluctant Fundamentalist starts when a businessman is kidnapped in Pakistan, the American are using their information to search for him, while Changez (Ahmed) becomes one of the suspects, Changez is meeting with an American Bobby Lincoln (Schreiber) who is looking to tell him story.

Changez gives his story about his love for America and how he once worked his way up the ladder in wall street under Jim Cross (Sutherland) in 2001. This is only the beginning of his story, one that will show how he became somebody who wanted to lead change and one that saw the change firsthand.

Thoughts on The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Characters – Changez is a Pakistani man who was the first to leave the country to make something of himself in the modern world, he enters the world of wall street, where he looks to help business run smoother, seeing problems others can’t, he ends up becoming a target of hate after 9/11, now he is being interviewed to show his side of the aftermath from 9/11, where he is back in Pakistan becoming a target of the Americans who see him as a threat, he is smart, he knows how to remain calm and analyse the issues in the world, to show both sides of the views. Erica is the woman that Changez starts dating, she is a photographer and is open to seeing the world in the right way. Bobby Lincoln is a reporter that is interviewing Changez, he is open to hear his story, only he happens to have his own reason for the interview. Jim Cross is the man that offers Changez the job in New York, he sees all his potential to become one of the best in his business being somebody who never bothered about his background.

PerformancesRiz Ahmed is fantastic in this leading role showing everybody how big of a star he was always going to become. Kate Hudson is great to, bringing her style to a character that wouldn’t be normal in the traditional life of Changez life. Liev Schreiber is wonderful to see in the storytelling side of the film, listening and wanting to make an impact with her reasoning. Kiefer Sutherland is strong in his supporting role too, showing he can become the businessman in a film with ease.

StoryThe story here follows a Pakistan man who rose to success in New York, right around and in the aftermath of 9/11, dealing with racism put upon him, while trying to follow the traditions of his family back home, dealing with the idea that he has been placed on the watch list, despite not committing any crimes and trying to prove that anything can be spun to make anybody look guilty because people are blindly following panic. This is a try eye opening at how the world instantly sees certain ethnic backgrounds as bad, despite, never learning who they are or what they are doing in life. The one bad side of the story comes from seeing how we are going through his back story, even if this does offer twists in the story.

ThrillerThe thriller side of this film start heavily, when we see just how the kidnapping happens and the searching for the people responsible, we do drive into drama and seeing how the life can be turned upside down by panic of others.

SettingsThe film does use the key settings of Lahore to show when terrorists are believed to be, New York which sees people turn their heads towards people they don’t like and the world trips that show why Changez could have been seen as a threat, just because of his race.


Scene of the Movie – The moment that changed the world.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The attitudes instantly change no matter how wrong they are.

Final Thoughts This is a very insightful look at how the world changed on 9/11, seeing the people judging without understanding the truth about people is how we are seeing the world now.

Overall: Insightful thriller.