Mira Nair’s much-awaited global thriller THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST starring Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber, Om Puri, and Shabana Azmi releases in theaters on April 26. Based on the best-selling novel by Mohsin Hamid. The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a story about conflicting ideologies where perception and suspicion have the power to determine life or death. We begin in 2011 in Lahore. At a café a Pakistani man named Changez (Riz Ahmed) tells Bobby (Liev Schreiber), an American journalist, about his experiences in the United States. Roll back ten years, and we find a younger Changez fresh from Princeton, seeking fortune and glory on Wall Street. The American Dream seems well within his grasp, complete with a smart and gorgeous artist girlfriend, Erica (Kate Hudson). But when the Twin Towers are attacked, a cultural divide slowly begins to crack open between Changez and Erica. Changez’s dream soon begins to slip into nightmare: profiled, wrongfully arrested, strip-searched and interrogated, he is transformed from a well-educated, upwardly mobile businessman to a scapegoat and perceived enemy. With time, he begins to hear the call of his own homeland. Leading us through the culturally rich and beguiling worlds of New York, Lahore and Istanbul, THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST is an exploration of bias and the phenomenon of globalization.
Director Mira Nair says, “Over the last few years, we have seen many films about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but always told from the American point of view. In our story, the encounter between the characters of Changez and Bobby mirrors the mutual suspicion with which America and Pakistan (or the Muslim world) look at one another. We learn that as a result of America’s war on terror, Changez experiences a seismic shift in his own attitude, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and maybe even love.
“But other forms of fundamentalism are revealed along the way, including the kind practiced by Changez’s former employer, Underwood Samson. The remarkable aspect of THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST is that it is a true dialogue about the identity and perception of two very different worlds, and issues around the divided self in the era of globalization.”