Kite Runner Movie vs. Book

Period 4: Sabur Khan


Kite Runner is a very popular novel which is situated in Afghanistan pre and post soviet invasion. The story's main character is a man by the name Amir who used to belong to a well off family. He used to live with his father who he called "Baba" along with two servants "Ali" and his son "Hassan" who is Amir's best friend. The perils that the two friends go through across the flow of time cause a great amount of sadness and despair for each of the two as they grow up. However the way the book portrays the growing up of these two boys into men differs greatly from the movie but have some elements which are in common in both.

Similarities present in both

Both the book and the movie have a fair amount in common. The first (and most obvious) one is the name. Both the book and the movie are under the name "Kite Runner" and both contain the same name of the characters. As far as the content of both go they both essentially have the same plot and storyline. The differences lie in the details within each. This includes common antagonists who do the same thing as well as protagonists trying to overcome the same obstacles. Amir in both the book and movie regrets standing up for Hassan as a child and makes up for it years later by saving his child Sohrab from the evil clutches of Assef who abuses the poor kid just as he did to Sohrab's father years ago. (What a creep he is).

Also the one who guides Amir to help him atone for his guilt was Rahim Khan, the good friend of Amir's father who had an idea about what happened to Hassan as a child and was giving Amir advice on how he can make it up to Hassan. Hassan and his father were portrayed as Hazara's who were originally from a different part of Afghanistan. However details are mentioned too much about it in the movie. Speaking of differences let's look at a few.

Clips and Bits

The Kite Runner Trailer

Differences Between the book and the movie


The book was essentially Khaled Hosseini's description of a series of tragic events that occur in the life of two individuals due to the corruption of the time period in the city of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Hosseini takes the events of his own experience and his imagination and puts them into the form of a book which was very detailed not only in the sense of character backgrounds but also in the form of psychological mindset of the characters which can not possibly be present in a movie.

Physical descriptions were another aspect of the book that were not brought into the movie which actually were in the book. Two primary examples were Hassan's harelip which was not present at all in the movie which also knocked out the part of the book where Hassan had a surgery to remove that very harelip on his birthday, instead he simply got a kite. The second example is that of Hassan's father Ali. Ali had a limp due to his right leg being crippled. However the movie forgets this detail and shows him as a healthy man who can walk on two legs. This also affect his death caused by the landmines. The limp was the cause of his foot activating a landmine however in the movie it was portrayed as a mistake.

Physical descriptions were not the only thing left out in the movie. A very important detail which is the essential part of the whole book is merely mentioned in the movie whereas in the book it is given the most intricate detail possible. This detail is that of Hassan's rape as a child by the neighborhood bully Assef on a dead end. The whole book is focused on that one event and Amir's guilt for not helping Hassan out during the rape. The whole rape situation was the only reason that Amir went back to Afghanistan from the U.S in the first place. The only reason he went was to repent for his crime through saving Hassan's son Sohrab. Another detail that was totally taken out of the movie as a whole was Assef's origins and their effect on his crimes within the book. Assef was a half German blonde kid as described by Amir in the book and he admired Hitler and his actions of brutal chaos which caused him to inflict such pain and tragedy upon Hassan and his son. However in the movie he is just portrayed as a madman with no legit reason for raping children other than his own pleasure.