Based on the hugely successful novel by Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner tells the saga of an Afghan emigre looking back on his childhood. Rich with detail and local color, the sad and complicated tale comes close to overdoing it, but pulls back from mawkishness at the crucial junctures.

The film, as so often happens in adaptations, loses something in translation. The specificity that raised the book up a notch fails to make it onto the screen. By condensing all of the events into two hours, the story feels disjointed and clichéd.

However, seeing the Afghanistan of the ’70s recreated on screen is the best thing about the picture – the visual medium trumping the written word.

Grade: B-

The Kite Runner is currently available.