Starring: Michael Pare, Nicholas Turturro, Krista Grotte Saxon, Vanessa Ore, David Schifter
Plot: A man covering up a crime assumes a nosy neighbor may have seen what he did. He turns the neighbor’s lives upside down to keep his secret. But is there more to his motive?
Tagline – Sometimes it’s best to mind your own business.
Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Penthouse starts when Peter (Schifter) and Amanda Wright (Ore) move into a penthouse apartment overlooking the bay area, where they see one boat remain there longer than they expected, owned by Charles (Pare) and his girlfriend Tess (Saxon) that he is always controlling.
When Tess vanishes, Peter and Amanda start getting concerned and after they confront Charles about her, they find their own lives turned upside down.
Thoughts on The Penthouse
Thoughts – The Penthouse brings us another modern attempt to bring us a version of Rear Window, with an overly nosey neighbour finding themselves caught up in the middle of a crime that doesn’t easily get explained. This is one doesn’t seem to bring anything to the original story, with the basics of the story being here, nothing seems to end up feeling inspiring. The characters do seem flat, with the couple overlooking the bay being out of their depth, while the villainous Charles never gets played out to have any sense of innocence about what is going on, which is what makes the story feel more unique. This does have one of the biggest anti-climaxes that will leave us feeling empty as it isn’t even shot well.
Final Thoughts – The Penthouse is a flat thriller that has the idea right, only ending up feeling empty.
Writer: David Benioff (Screenplay) Khaled Hosseini (Novel)
Starring: Khalid Abdalla, Atossa Leoni, Shaun Toub, Sayer Jafar Masihullah Gharibzada, Zekeria Ebrahimi, Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada, Mir Mahmood Shah Hashimi
Plot: After spending years in California, Amir returns to his homeland in Afghanistan to help his old friend Hassan, whose son is in trouble.
Tagline – There is a way to be good again.
Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Kite Runner starts when an adult Amir (Abdalla) receives a call in California from a former friend back in Afghanistan, which will see Amir (Ebrahimi) look back to his childhood where he was friends with Hassan (Mahmoodzada) in Kabol, even if they were from different backgrounds, they had the typical bullying situations in the city, which will see horrific actions committed towards Hassan, with their love for kite flying being the thing that kept them positive.
After the Soviet Union invaded Amir and his family escape the bloodshed to America, where they build a new life that was never in the privilege they once had. Amir got an education and even looked to break traditions, but this phone call will change the next stage of his life forever.
Thoughts on The Kite Runner
Characters & Performances – Amir is the man that needs to return home after spending a lifetime away, as a child he was shield with his father’s position granting him the safety in life, but what has friend goes through will leave him with nightmares. As an adult he has look to make a difference becoming an author, getting married until he learns what happened to his friend, forcing him to return to learn the truth about his childhood friend. Both Khalid Abdalla and Zekeria Ebrahimi are brilliant in this film, bring this character to life through two different generations of his life. Soraya is the wife Amir marries that is there to support him through life, despite being the daughter of a once feared general. Rahim Khan is the father that always wanted the best for his son, even after the invasion, he gets on working in America to make this a reality for him. The film does have strong performances throughout its difficult subject matters.
Story – The story here follows a man that must return to his childhood city and country after years away after learning about his best childhood friend, here he looks back at their friendship, growing up together and the life he has battle through to become the success he is now. This story is a highlight of the sudden change in countries, showing us the Afghanistan change which will leave friendships broken and lives changed forever. We get to see the life of Amir, from the innocent beginnings to the life changing environment of America, showing he will always shave a past he needs to protect and that friendship will last forever. It does have a sense of adventure in the way that Amir need to return, but the dangers are real, with his mission worth the risk.
Themes – The Kite Runner is a drama that shows us the difference in clashes within Afghanistan, showing the giant line drawn between the wealthy and the poor that gets destroyed by a war. We get to see the wealthy needing to work everyday jobs in another country to rebuild the life they once had or at least give their child a chance at a better future. The locations are key to this film, showing us just how different life has been for each character involved.