Tarique Qayumi has so many ideas and feels like he will eventually find his clear voice. So this sense of realization washes over the film Black Kite which extends the kite metaphor found in Khaled Hosseini’s book and extends it into a political and metaphorical treaty on Afghanistan.
Mohamed Zahir Shah and his attempts to modernize the country make up the majority of the first part of the film and the docufootage is astounding in that it reveals a history of Afghanistan modernizing that feels counterintuitive to the recent efforts of the Taliban to undo steps toward modernity. The very act of kite-flying is an act of subversion towards the state, but also a throwback to another era, and feels much more complex and balanced than, say, Ben Affleck’s introduction in Argo.
But the problem at the heart of Black Kite, what prevents the film from soaring, is that the movie almost seems to want to overwhelm its audience. If Qayumi gave Black Kite breathing room, the final scene may have been more effective.