The Kite Runner is a novel written by Khaled Hosseini in 2003. Taking place in Afghanistan, the book is about a wealthy Pashtun boy growing into a man, and facing life’s trials, along with the destruction of his homeland. Khaled Hosseini was born where the story takes place, Kabul, Afghanistan. He is a best-selling author and also a Goodwill Envoy to the UN Refugee Agency. The Kite Runner was made into a movie in 2007, by DreamWorks SKG. The novel and the film are different in the depiction of Hassan, omitted or changed scenes, and in their use of flashbacks.
To start, a drastic difference in the movie was that Hassan didn’t have a harelip. This was an essential part to the story because Hassan’s physical description of having an everlasting smile was symbolic of his seemingly always happy personality. Then when he fixed the harelip, it symbolized his unhappiness as he was assaulted and lost his friendship with Amir. “Which was ironic. Because that was the winter Hassan stopped smiling.” (page 47).The harelip symbolism was a key feature of the book, but not at all included in the movie. By omitting the harelip, the movie did not show Hassan’s character development as strongly as in the book
Furthermore, the movie omitted some important scenes from the book. On Hassan’s birthday, in the novel, Baba gives him plastic surgery to fix his harelip; in the movie Baba buys Hassan a kite. Again, this was important to the book as Hassan’s physical transformation symbolized his inner transformation. Another essential scene omitted by the movie was Amir’s trouble with adopting Sohrab, leading to Sohrab’s attempted suicide. This scene was important as it displayed a major theme in the novel, the children of Afghanistan losing their childhood to violence. “There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood.” (page 318).
Finally, the movies were different in the use of flashbacks. In the novel, during the scene where Hassan is sexually assaulted, the author used flashbacks to show Amir and Hassans brotherhood. Amir remembers the time he was told they fed from the same breath, when they went to the fortune teller, and a dream where Hassan saves him from a snowstorm. In the movie, none of these flashbacks are shown. By not including the flashbacks, the movie doesn’t show Amir’s internal struggle of wanting to help Hassan, and wanting to spare himself. “I could step into that alley… Or I could run” (page 77).
Overall, both the movie wasn’t a great rendition of The Kite Runner. The movie didn’t have the great symbolism used the novel. The movie missed important elements vital for the character development and didn’t quite get across the themes of the novel. The novel and the film are different in the depiction of Hassan, omitted or changed scenes, and in the use of flashbacks.