More and more films premiere on Video on Demand — if they don’t simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we’re looking at “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” a political thriller about a businessman whose life is changed forever by 9/11.
Director: Mira Nair
Cast: Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber
Criticwire Average: B- (17 critics)
Official Synopsis: “We begin in 2011 in Lahore. At an outdoor cafe a Pakistani man named Changez (Ahmed) tells Bobby (Schreiber), an American journalist, about his experiences in the United States. Roll back ten years, and we find a younger Changez fresh from Princeton, seeking fortune and glory on Wall Street. The American Dream seems well within his grasp, complete with a smart and gorgeous artist girlfriend, Erica (Hudson). But when the Twin Towers are attacked, a cultural divide slowly begins to crack open between Changez and Erica. Changez’s dream soon begins to slip into nightmare: profiled, wrongfully arrested, strip-searched and interrogated, he is transformed from a well-educated, upwardly mobile businessman to a scapegoat and perceived enemy. With time, he begins to hear the call of his own homeland. Taking us through the culturally rich and beguiling worlds of New York, Lahore and Istanbul, ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ is a story about conflicting ideologies where perception and suspicion have the power to determine life or death.”
“If there ever was a time to see ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist,’ that time is here and now.”
“Ahmed keeps bringing the focus back to an intriguingly ambiguous center.”
“Uneven but fascinating.”
“A missed opportunity to weigh in on anti-Muslim discrimination.”
“The Reluctant Fundamentalist” is now available on VOD.