Review: A Weak Adaptation of ‘The Kite Runner’ at the Hayes Theatre

Kite Flying Joan Marcus Joan Marcus

Kite Flying | 2 hours 30 minutes | Hayes Theatre, 240 West 44th Street | 212-239-6200

Adapting novels for the stage is a noble task; Health culture needs to translate its new (or traditional) story into other media. I have seen Dostoyevsky’s dramatic abilities Demons (second), Fitzgerald The great gatsby (word in action marathon na Elevator Maintenance Work) and others—many at Again YorkDrama Factory. While popular storytelling is about movies or streaming stories, there is an argument to be made for turning stories into live action. Kite Flying, long on the talk and short on the show, he doesn’t argue very hard.

Known to the public as a best-selling 2003 novel and a 2007 film adaptation, Khaled Hosseini’s tearjerker story begins in Afghanistan in the 1970s and ends sometime after the. America around September 11, 2001. A boy’s brutal betrayal of his girlfriend and the writer’s recovery unfold decades later. Amir (Amir Arison) is the son (I won’t say “only”) of the wealthy widowed merchant Baba (Faran Tahir) in Kabul. Ali (Evan Zes) and his obedient son, Hassan (Eric Sirakian). Amir and Hassan form a close relationship, play together, climb poplar trees and read stories. In the way we learn before the class separates the two. Amir is Pashtun, the Sunni Muslim ethnic group in Afghanistan, and Hassan is Hazara, from the Shi’a branch of Islam.

The innocent relationship between master and slave is under the watchful eye of Assef (Amir Malaklou), a young Pashtun who taunts and bullies the boys and, later, abuses Hassan – an act which Amir saw from hiding but nothing to stop. It’s the first pain in the story—it’s what the rest of the story revolves around as our guilty history seeks forgiveness. The story takes place in the context of the Soviet invasion of 1979, which forced Amir and his father into exile in San Francisco. Baba went from rich and privileged to working at a gas station. Amir follows his dream of becoming a writer, goes to college, falls in love with fellow immigrant Soraya (Azita Ghanizada) and, eventually, returns to Afghanistan to face his past and forgive his betrayal of Hassan.

If it sounds like a story that can’t be supported for two and a half hours, it shouldn’t be. Each game is separated from a 400-page book that invites story boredom. But a skilled player knows how to condense, to find the way that information dictates. A traditional drama of natural scenes unfolding over many years, with the dust of a memory-play story—à la The Managerial Mirror– that’s a good choice. The Inheritance A few seasons ago it was a very important story that dragged on over two entire games. The epic story is the best of the movie. Another work is important but often powerful: boiling the source until it achieves the opposite, a virtuoso work of invocation, comparison, and exorcism.

Kite Flying Joan Marcus Joan Marcus

Instead, Matthew Spangler manages a hybrid, unsatisfying solution. His story is a long monologue (skillfully directed by Arison) recorded in the form of animated cartoons, story-drama style, by a team that competes for roles around the protagonist at least , modular stage. This method has the advantage of known drama, and the lack of understanding of the melodramatic music of the story, often heavy-handed. “It rarely rains in the summer in Kabul,” Amir tells us (lifted from the book). “But it was raining the night Baba took Ali and Hassan to the bus station.” This hackneyed thing is often brought up in stories and movies: the rain in sadness. Are we surprised that Baba cried out seconds later? Elsewhere, Spangler’s account of Amir presents themes or ideas that appear in context. “I could feel her failure, it was as if the breath of life had entered our marriage,” Amir said of Soraya’s inability to conceive a child (copied again from source). Literary readers can eat such a sign, but on the stage, holding hands, the second act is much longer.

Then there’s the cartoonish gay panic that drives Hossein’s comic engine. Assef, the crypto-queer sadist who molests Hassan and then, after joining the Taliban, buys Hassan’s orphaned son to be a toy, is the main villain of the story, an Islamofascist perv who makes a lot of fun of the story. Neither Hassan nor his tormentor is developed into anything like a rich or complex character; they are helpers for our hero’s painful journey to self-forgiveness.

Director Giles Croft and a talented cast of Middle East actors work valiantly to keep our attention as the script tells the story in the second half. Amir Arison, tall, broad-shouldered, lean and handsome, takes on the role with grace and a smile. Dariush Kashani is a great voice cameraman, moving from Afghan to American sounds with great elan. As Amir’s domineering father, Tahir creates a dignified portrayal of a grumpy man who grows up to be smart and sweet. Ghanizada provides the female lead as Amir’s headstrong wife, who is on the run from her own demons.

Kite Flying Joan Marcus Joan Marcus

Moviegoers, like me, will learn a little about kite fighting. When I was a kid, I always watched kites for fun, not to get into fights. But boys are boys. The title refers to Hassan’s inability to choose where to land a cut kite, to be captured as a prize. I hope Kite Flying it’s just an expensive puzzle. Although it was welcomed on Broadway for giving the actors of the Middle Eastern lineage work, and for illuminating a non-Western milieu, I fear that the result is too windy and not enough string.

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Review: A Weak Adaptation of 'The Kite Runner' at Hayes Theatre

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