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The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Based on the novel by Mohsin Hamid
Director: Mira Nair

A Princeton graduate from Pakistan, Changez, succeeds on Wall Street, thriving in his adopted city. A thriller unfolds as the political events of the millennium test his allegiances and Changez is forced to choose — a country, a way of life, where he belongs. "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" is a collision of the personal and the political — when there is nothing left to lose, which side are you on?

Two men share a meal in Lahore, a Pakistani and an American, adversaries on either side of a debate, a cat-and-mouse game or perhaps something more sinister. Conversation turns to the life of the Pakistani, Changez.
Changez comes to the U.S. from Pakistan to attend Princeton. At the top of his class, he is snapped up by the elite valuation firm of Underwood Samson. He thrives on the energy of New York, and his budding romance with elegant, beautiful Erica promises entry into Manhattan society at the same exalted level once occupied by his own family back in Lahore.

But in the wake of September 11, Changez finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned and his relationship with Erica eclipsed by the reawakened ghosts of her past. Changez’ keen awareness of the differences between him and his acquaintances is thrown into sharp focus as the world around him begins to collapse. His own identity, viewed through the global perspective his work has provided, is in seismic shift as well. His powerlessness in Erica’s disappearance belies his relationship with his adopted home, friends and colleagues.

Changez returns to Lahore, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and maybe even love. His involvement with pro-Pakistan demonstrations — viewed as un-American by the international media — are called into question as is his connection to a possibly extremist student. After another attack, Changez’s link to the student implicates him indirectly to the group responsible.

What is the nature of Changez’ relationship to the student? Which side is he on? And, who is his dinner companion in Lahore?

"The Reluctant Fundamentalist" is a riveting, brilliantly unsettling exploration of the personal and the political, the rational and the emotional. A thriller set against the backdrop of contemporary strife, The Reluctant Fundamentalist asks questions where answers fail to tell the whole story.

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