The Reluctant Fundamentalist ★★★
It’s a good weekend for fans of British shooting star Riz Ahmed. After his breakout role in Nightcrawler (shown yesterday), here’s an earlier thriller, equally intelligent, this time from Indian-American director Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding). Ahmed is quietly convincing as a Princeton scholar-turned Wall Street trader whose good life in the land of opportunity changes overnight after the 9/11 attacks. Harassed for the colour of his skin and his Muslim faith, he comes to distrust this new, paranoid version of his adopted country; his relationship with Kate Hudson’s photographer suffers and he begins to empathise with the oppressed. Based on the novel by Mohsin Hamid, it’s a fascinating look at the way people bend to changed circumstances, with Ahmed’s character drawn back to his roots in Lahore, where the deeply political story starts and finishes.
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