Thursday, August 8, 2013
One-Shot: The Kite Runner (2007)
From two-colored present America back to three-colored Afghanistan
Having just received the specimen copies of his first novel, Amir (Khalid Abdalla) gets a phone call at home that triggers memories of his youth in Kabul. Both he and his wife wear dark blue clothes against more or less monochrome sandy colored surroundings.
Soon we meet Amir's Baba (Homayoun Ershadi) and his best friend Rahim Khan (Shaun Toub). Rahim's orange shirt and tie against a gray suit, by the way, was the color scheme that I remembered most vividly:
color design of FANTASTIC MR. FOX which is also reminiscent of the 1970s.
[Note: Later on in present Pakistan the overall color scheme is still based on sand and blue but feels a lot colder.]
Green stands out
The one color that seems to have a special significance to Marc Forster is green (J.M.Barrie's apartment and the park in FINDING NEVERLAND, 2004; the fatal green apple in STRANGER THAN FICTION, 2006). I have found it to be very deliberately used in all of his features except QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008) (although Forster mentions a green door in an interview), where at least the villain was named Dominic Greene.
I have not yet found out if there is a recurring symbolic meaning to it or if Forster uses it in a new context in every film. In THE KITE RUNNER, Amir stand on green Californian meadows in the beginning and end, but in Afghanistan (and later Pakistan) there is hardly a green piece of cloth except in two connected scenes.
After Amir has abandoned Hassan he schemes how to get rid of his too loyal friend. During the preparation for his birthday party he asks his father to send Hassan's father away. Soon after he comes up with a more effective plan to betray Hassan. He lies to Baba - who now wears a green jersey - telling him that Hassan has stolen Amir's watch.
I have yet to look at the film more closely to see if there is another instance of Amir or his father wearing green and if there is a connection to Amir's betrayal that serves as his narrative backstory wound that motivates the film.