The Kite Runner Movie and Book Comparison

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Updated: Mar 07, 2023
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In the Kite Runner, there were some main differences that stood out in the movie from the book. One difference is that in the book Hassan had a cleft lip and for his birthday Baba pays for Hassan to get a surgery as a birthday gift. “It’s an unusual present, I know,” Baba said. And probably not what you had in mind, but this present will last forever” (Hosseini, 46). In the movie Hassan doesn’t have this facial deformity, so instead Baba takes him to the kite shop for his birthday.

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In the book it was a loss for Hassan because he grew up with a cleft lip until Baba got him a surgery which showed a lot of character from him. I prefer the movie in this particular difference because Hassan was happier without his cleft lip and he felt normal like the other kids, it shows that Hassan didn’t struggle from having a cleft lip, which meant he was Hazara with the cleft lip which is different from the Pashtuns.

Amir and Hassan’s first experience with Assef in the book was where they are confronted on a hill, but in the movie, it happens on a street. The movie did not include the brass knuckles of Assef. Since it was viewed those brass knuckles like a symbol for Assef’s cruelty and hostile character, not having them made Assef seem less frightening and less intimidating as well. I prefered the book explaining assef in a detailed way, where he had brass knuckles. Because it made him more scary and frightening to the readers such as me.

Another significant change that the movie had from the book is that Amir doesn’t laugh/smile when he was getting beaten by Assef. In the book it’s a really important and a part which shows Amir feeling guilt. Amir describes that he felt relief and started laughing because he felt like he never got punished for what he did to hassan. “…I felt at peace. I laughed because I saw that, in some hidden nook in a corner of my mind, I’d even been looking forward to this…I laughed. Then the end. That, I’ll take to my grave” (Hosseini, 289). I prefer the book version of Amir getting beat because Amir finally understand what he cause Hassan, he is guilty of his past. The feeling of punishment is awakening Amir and he feels like he deserves it so he laughs.

Last difference I chose to talk about is, Sohrab attempting to commit suicide in the book but not in the movie. Sohrab attempts suicide because Amir tells him that one way to help with the adoption would be to send him back to an orphanage for a while. Despite the fact that Amir had told him he would never have to go back.

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The Kite Runner Movie And Book Comparison. (2022, Apr 29). Retrieved from