Nair (“Monsoon Wedding,” “The Namesake”) adapted Mohsin Hamid’s international bestseller of the same title, a thriller told in flashback centering on a Pakistani man (Ahmed) whose promising Wall Street career and relationship with his girlfriend (Hudson) disintegrate following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The film hits theaters April 26 via IFC Films.
Nair is extremely careful not to demonize the American or the Pakistani but rather to suggest how much they have in common, had politics not put them on opposite sides of the table sipping tea, but inches away from a loaded gun.
Not as magnetic a presence as Ahmed, the scruffy Schreiber turns the role of the expat journalist into a complex, convincing character with solid reasons for the choices he has made, proving an apt catalyst for the final stages of Changez’s transformation.
This is bold and muscular storytelling with a plausible performance from Riz Ahmed in the lead role – though there is something flabby and evasive in the inevitable equivalence it winds up proposing between Islamic fundamentalism and aggressive American capitalism.