The Reluctant Fundamentalist, film and book

My class have read the book “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” and watched the film which is adapted from it. The story in the film and the book have some differences in plot, character descriptions and relationships that I am going to talk about now.

The book focus a lot on Changez experiences , the people he meets and his thoughts around cultures, religions and 9/11. In the book we also get to meet Erica, a girl he knew from the past. Erica told Changez that her boyfriend died from cancer and that she had a tough time after her loss.  The film makes a plot about Chris (Ericas boyfriend) , he was drunk driving, crashed and died.  In the book, Changez told us a lot about Ericas depression and how tough her life was with a lot of ups and downs. In the end Erica was put away in a mental asylum and took her own life in the end. In the film we don’t get any insight in her life like we did in the book. I feel like Erica and Changez have a better and closer relationship in the book than in the film. Changez was more polite in the book because in the film we get to see fights and yelling and that he is mean to Erica.  Later in the film we get to see why he was so upset.

The meeting Changez have with a stranger in a cafe in the beginning of the book, in the movie has a name, Bobby. And as an occupation we know he works as a FBI agent. We only hear about “the American” from Changez point of view and from what he perceived. A new character that was added in the film was the professor Rainer. He got kidnapped in the movie and that’s why “the American” talked to Changez because he wondered where Rainer was and they tried to find out where he was. That plot is also added to the story of the film, and not the book.

The end of the book and the movie is a lot different. They have first of all put more weight into the riot part of the story in the film in comparison with the book. Changez is a bigger part of the movement and a protestant, rather than a terrorist. The book focused more about fundamentalism, equal bad, religion and job, but the movie show us more about Americas part in Pakistan , and the prejudice was stronger.

I think that the book was better because I liked the parts with Erica, and Changez and Ericas relationship. But at the same time I liked that the movie shown us so much about the conflict and the prejudices around cultures. But if I, myself, should make a film out of the book I would involve Erica a lot more.




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