Although presented through different mediums, the authors of The Railway Man and The Kite Runner use various writing and filming techniques to help the audience understand the underlying theme of who possesses power in both texts. The screenplay uses the elements of mise en scène and cinematography to help the audience understand power play between the Japanese and English soldiers at Hellfire Pass during world war II. While the novel uses figurative language features such as metaphors to stimulate the readers imagination in attempt to highlight themes of who has power between the Pashtuns and Hazaras in Afghanistan both Pre-Soviet and after Taliban rule. Low angle shots and enhanced shouts of Japanese soldiers throughout the torture scenes of the screenplay, are used to portray the superiority of the Japanese soldiers toward the Prisoners of War (PoW) showing that they were powerless to retaliate against such force and brutality. In the same way, Khaled Hosseini portrays the Pashtun dominance through Hassan’s submissive response to being raped as ‘Hassan didn’t struggle.
Didn’t even whimper’ at the hand of Assef. In emphasis of this, Hosseini compares Hassan to ‘the Lamb’, a sacrificial lamb, previously described as having the look of ‘acceptance in (its) eyes’. Hassan is powerless to stop Assef and accepts his fate as a sacrificial lamb and servant to Amir as later in the book he is forced to serve his rapists drinks at Amir’s 13th birthday party because of his Hazara background and servant status.
However, the climatic scenes of The Railway Man portray a shift in power as the low angle shot is used to portray Lomax, an English PoW, as more powerful than Nagasi, a Japanese soldier. Nevertheless, unlike the screenplay, Hassan, as a Hazara, is never granted an opportunity to take back power from the Pashtuns yet is publicly executed for his ethnic background.