The reluctant fundamentalist​

In international English class, we have both read and seen the movie “The reluctant fundamentalist”. The novel came out in 2007, and the movie was made five years later in 2012. They were both written by Mohsin Hamid. Both the movie and the book´s themes are terrorism, relation, and love. Even though the movie was based on the book, they both contained major differences. The movie still has the same storyline, but most of the events in the movie were different. Both of the stories take place in an outdoor Lahore café, where a bearded Pakistani man called Changez tells an American about his love affair with an American woman, and his eventual abandonment of America.

The difference in the stories is that in the book we don´t know who the American is, but in the movie he has a name, which is Bobby. We also get to know that he is a CIA agent and a journalist, and he is in Pakistan to have an interview with Changez. Also, Changez knew the American´s identity in the movie, and he knew it from the minute he stepped foot in the Cafe. He told him a lot about Erica, who was his girlfriend in America, and there are many differences about her. In the book, Changez met Erica during a vacation, while in the movie, they met in a park where she was currently working. She was a photographer and an artist in the movie, but she was an author in the book.

Erica didn´t really talk much about Chris in the movie, but in the book she talked a lot about him. In the book, Erica became mentally ill because she grieved so much over Chris, and she went to an institution to get better. She ended up with escaping and committing suicide. Erica also confessed her love to Changez in the movie, where she made a “gallery of their love”, which is the words she used to describe the gallery. They became more of a couple because they got more involved in each other’s work in the movie.

After Changez had told Bobby that he knew his identity, Bobby grabbed his bag and gun and went up to the loft where he and Changez could talk more privately. In the book, we didn´t get to know if he had a gun or not. The author gave us a hint about his bulge that might have been a gun, but he never confirmed that it was a gun. Changez knew Bobby from a picture he saw of him after his uncle got stabbed. While they were talking, Professor Rainier had been kidnapped and was held as a hostage by someone Bobby thought Changez was working with. The reason why he thought that, was because he had seen Changez receiving a picture of the professor´s dead body. Bobby threatened him with a gun, and they went out to a big crowd of angry people. In the movie Changez was a part of a bigger demonstration than in the book, he fought against America in a nonviolent way, even though he was a lover of America. He found out after he got shot in the leg, that Changez sent a message to his sister, not to the people he thought he did too.

Both of the stories ended in reality with Changez and the American. The difference with the endings was that it happened in two completely different places. The book ended with Changez and the American walking along the street, and the American feeling paranoid because of the people behind them. He reached into his pocket, and then it just stops. When it comes to my personal opinion about what it could have been, I think it was a gun, since Changez saw him having a bulge in his pants earlier. The ending of the movie was completely different since it happened in a room with Bobby, where he listened to the recording of Changez’s voice. Something we will never know is what Bobby will use the recording for.

So in conclusion, the ending of the stories was completely different. From the beginning to the middle of the film, it was almost the exact same as in the book. There were a few differences before all of this, but it wasn´t until Changez quit his job in the movie when it all got different from the book. The complete opposite happened in the book, when Changez got fired from his job. In the book, they were in the café the whole time, but in the movie they went out to the loft and also outside. All of the differences I mentioned was the most important ones in my opinion, but there were also more little ones. Like for example, he was more with his family in the book, then in the movie. Overall I think that the movie was actually better than the book because it had a more interesting story, and had a lot more nerve-racking moments.




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