Riz Ahmed does strong work as Changez, a Pakistani man who gets himself one of the great financial jobs in the world, working in Manhattan and quickly rising up the ranks. Then, 9/11 happens. Director Mira Nair shows the kind of hell innocent men went through during the crisis, and the film avoids some obvious character study pitfalls to show us a complicated man with confused loyalties. The movie struggles when it tries to be a thriller. Liev Schreiber is good as a mysterious reporter interviewing Changez after his world has been turned upside down, but his part is wasted in a subplot that feels misguided and stagey. The film works best when Changez is in Manhattan, enduring strip searches and strange behavior from his girlfriend (Kate Hudson). It founders when it tries to be some sort of CIA thriller. Not a total loss thanks to Ahmed, but not a successful film in the end.
Director: Mira Nair
Producer: Lydia Dean Pilcher
Cast: Riz Ahmed, Liev Schreiber, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi, Haluk Bilginer, Martin Donovan, Nelsan Ellis, Adil Hussain, Christopher Smith and Victor Slezak
The Reluctant Fundamentalist