A curious adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s best seller, considering that the most cinematic elements of the novel are the weakest parts of the movie. Hosseini’s book traced the lives of two childhood friends who grew up flying kites together in pre-Soviet Afghanistan. Tragedy strikes – from within the culture and without – leaving the less privileged boy in tatters and the more privileged one drowning in guilt. Directed by Marc Forster, The Kite Runner inexplicably can’t breathe life into Hosseini’s central image: that of the boys’ kite soaring through the air. Too reliant on computer-generated imagery, these sequences ironically fail to capture the exhilaration of the novel. The novel’s weaknesses, meanwhile – particularly the cartoonishness of its Taliban villains – are even more glaring on the big screen. The novel wasn’t a masterpiece, by any means – its timeliness was its wild card – yet this cautious, uninspired adaptation is less than it deserved.