A film bloated by excess material.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
The effort to pack an already overstuffed picaresque epic into a film of more than two hours ends up an indigestible stew.
| Original Score: 2/4
The film is beautifully shot, with vivid production design. But because of the tale's lack of cohesion, it doesn't carry enough emotional heft.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Faithfully adapted from Salman Rushdie's award-winning 1981 novel, the movie feels both too packed and too slight, overflowing with vivid details but lacking the structure to support their weight.
| Original Score: 3/5
There are enough intermittent passages of power and beauty to get you through the slow spots.
| Original Score: B
A pretty but staidly linear epic drained of the novel's larkish, metaphorical sweep, and a collection of multi-generational love stories lacking their originally eccentric, fizzy charm.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Mehta has given us something as pale as it is panoramic.
Rushdie's characteristic antic humor animates the family scenes, but the movie gets bogged down in endless plot convolutions and whimsy (the material would have worked better as a TV miniseries).
In its steady great-books way, the film is often truthful and moving.
A movie that, if never exactly dull, feels drained of the mythic juice that powers the book, which won the Booker Prize in 1981.
| Original Score: 2/5
The cinematography is memorably vibrant, and the performances are solid, even if they pass by too swiftly. Most of all, of course, the subject matter remains fascinating.
Midnight's Children has the paradoxical misfortune of being both too rushed and too wearingly long.
So lavish and unwieldy is the book, Rushdie's best, that a film of it can't help but feel like a helpless reduction, like a bucket of water passed off as an ocean.
It's a vibrant journey, but not a terribly illuminating one.
The film is ambitious and often sumptuous to watch but not always dramatically satisfying.
Mehta fudges the political allegory in favour of the story's magical realism, but still can't get her arms around the material - or past Rushdie's own bear-hug.
Watchable without ever feeling essential.
Deepa Mehta has crafted an epic, visually pleasing tale weaving politics, colourful splendour, romantic love and magic with her most ambitious film to date ...