"Yes, I'm Pakistani. Yes I'm Muslim. But that's not all I am," says Changez Khan, played by Riz Ahmed, in Mira Nair's film adaptation of Mohsin Hamid's second novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
It's a film about a Pakistani caught in the throws of post-9/11 climate of America and the turbulence it caused for many Pakistani Americans trying to figure out their identities and their allegiances.
Starring Hollywood stalwarts, Kate Hudson and Kiefer Sutherland, the movie is bound to be a boon for getting a distinctly Pakistani narrative in the limelight.
The trailer begins with a journalist (Liev Schreiber) interviewing Khan, about the kidnapping of an American citizen.
Khan then describes how he arrived in America and took a job on Wall Street, only to have his life change after the Twin Towers crumbled to dust.
The film explores the journey of a man caught between his American dream and the enduring call of his homeland, and the effects that his dillema has on the people he works with and the woman he's grown to love.
Earlier, in an exclusive interview with Dawn.com, author Mohsin Hamid said he was hoping that the film would make a premier in Pakistan and praised Mira Nair’s work as the director, saying “Mira’s a very generous, inclusive film-maker. She regularly asked for my opinion. But a novel writer is part of the supporting cast in making a film, not the star.”
Speaking to the Hollwood Reporter, Hamid mentioned that his aim in the book and the movie was to eschew the simplistic notions about Americans and Pakistanis.
"Very often in the news today we get a very simple story," he said. "America is good or America is bad, Pakistan is good or Pakistan is bad, India is good or India is bad. We [the filmmaking team] all feel that part of our job was to re-complicate what has been simplified and to show complexity in a story — in which one person is neither right nor wrong."
The film has set a US release date of April 26.