The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Synopsis: A young Pakistani man is chasing corporate success on Wall Street. He finds himself embroiled in a conflict between his American Dream, a hostage crisis, and the enduring call of his family's homeland.
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director(s): Mira Nair
Production: IFC Films
  3 wins.
Rotten Tomatoes:
130 min


Well, I prefer movies

that make me forget

about the problems

with the world.

Come on, Yaar.

I mean, "Bol" is a brave movie.

It had to be made.

And you know all the students

in the union

are just raving about it.

Bravo, son!

Uncle, your medicine.

Damn good bootlegger, yeah?

This divine music...

Sweetens the sting of death.

How many people are there?

What are you doing?

Get off me!

Don't hurt him!

Is there anyone to help me?

Please, don't go.

- All okay, son?

- Absolutely.

Jamal, salaam.

Hello, Mr. Bobby.


It's Bobby calling from Dehli.


Something's happened.


We've got something.

We have sound?

I'm a professor.

I'm a professor.

I didn't do anything.


Please, don't kill me.

Please, don't kill me.

I didn't do anything.

This won't help you.

Please, don't...

That's all.

Let's do our own checking

at the university.

Get CTC on the line, please.

They sent a tape.

This place has the best tea

in Lahore.

And do you take sugar, Bobby?

No, thank you.

Well, you have waited

a very long time

for this interview,

and for that,

I must apologize.

Oh, I'm just glad we

could finally do it.

I finally felt the time was right.

Do you mind if I record?

Let's enjoy our tea for

a moment, please.

Oh, I loved your early work.

Your book on Massoud

fighting the Taliban...

great stuff.

I'm still trying to figure out

who wrote the other two.

Oh, thank you.

I'm flattered that you read them.

Nobody move!

Stay calm.

- What's this?

- Shall we take them in?

Sir, the police are here.

Get up!

Search him.


Catch that boy!

They seem a little edgy.

Our police become

very animated

when it's an American

that's been kidnapped.

You teach at the same

university as Anse Rainier.

I do.

Don't you think he's

worth looking for?

By roughing up people who

had nothing to do with it?

I've heard the group

taking responsibility

recruits here.

What makes you so sure

they had nothing to do with it?

They're my students.

And they're innocent

until proven otherwise.

I learned that from CSI: Miami.



Do you think he's still alive?

So tell me, Bobby,

what exactly is the article about?

Well, I'm still working on it,

but so far the logline is,

"Pakistan's New Militant Academia. "

Am I part of the new

militant academia?

I don't know.

Are you?

You know, the answer

to that question

may challenge some of

your preconceived notions.

Changez, I'm a journalist.

Generally, we try to avoid

preconceived notions.

But of course.

- You mind if I...

- Yes.

I only ask one thing.

That you please listen

to the whole story

from the very beginning,

not just bits and pieces.

Do I have your word?

You do.

Looks can be deceiving.

I am a lover of America.

Although I was raised to feel

very Indian.

After all, the blood of princes

runs in my veins.

Perhaps that's an exaggeration.

Let's say the princes and I

moved in the same circles.

We attended the same schools...

Lived in the same neighborhoods.

But all of a sudden,

there were new princes in town.

Hey, Chingu!

Buy a new car.

Time to junk your oxcart.

Yes, we still had the prestige

of a Punjab Club membership...

Abu, we need a new car.

But our bank account was empty.

And retire this magnificent chariot?


These new-money scoundrels

are ruining the place.

Your Bina madam's waiting.


What vulgar clothes.

No one will marry you.

Ammi, please.

I'm the Bond girl.

It's no joke.

They're lining up.

Go, work in India.

There, anything goes.

"Though memories fade,

"may Allah never free you

from my love. "

Changez, remember,

your father's a poet.

Sing for us.


He doesn't want to sing

those songs anymore, Ajju.

He's an American now.

Va, va, va, va...

Listen, son.

He fusses over you

because he loves you.

You know that, right?


Poems don't buy generators.

Somebody has to be

where the money is.

Hey, Chingu,

take me to New York with you.

I could be the dazzling

new ethnic friend

on Sex and the City

or something.

But, Chan, what about

your Mr. Bond?

Oh, please.


I'd drop him in a second

for Mr. Big.

All I want is a loft in SoHo,

weekend in the Hamptons,

and a pair of big,

fake American b*obs.

What? Is that too much to ask?

Not at all.

God bless America.

God bless America, indeed.

God bless its level playing fields.

God bless winning.

See you next Friday.

Changes, take a seat.

You have 20 minutes

to convince me

that you belong

at Underwood Samson.

Well, I've never gotten a B

in my entire life.

Touch wood.

And I'm about to graduate

summa cum laude.

Good... although I've heard

that line several times today.

What else?

Well, I also played

varsity soccer

four years straight.

I'm glad you got some exercise.

Changes, a position at our firm

as a financial analyst

is one the most sought-after

jobs in the entire world.

Lift up the hood.

Show me what makes you run.

Where are you from?

Lahore in Pakistan.

Are you on financial aid?

Yes, I am.

It's more difficult for

an international student

to be accepted at an

Ivy League school

if they apply for aid.

You must have really needed

the money.

Yeah, I did.

The accent's great.

Makes you sound like royalty.

How did your rich-kid friends

at Princeton

react to your Horatio Alger story?

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William Wheeler

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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