Midnight's Children


Midnight's Children

Critics Consensus

Though Midnight's Children is beautiful to look at and poignant in spots, its script is too indulgent and Deepa Mehta's direction, though ambitious, fails to bring the story together cohesively.



Total Count: 63


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,441
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Movie Info

At the stroke of midnight on August 15th, 1947, as India declares independence from Great Britain, two babies are switched at birth by a nurse in a Bombay hospital. And so it is that Saleem Sinai, the bastard child of a beggar woman, and Shiva, the only son of a wealthy couple, are fated to live the destinies meant for each other. Over the next three decades, Saleem and Shiva find themselves on opposite sides of many a conflict, whether it be because of class, politics, romantic rivalry, or the constantly shifting borders that are drawn every time neighbors become enemies and decide to split their newborn nation into two, and then three, warring countries. Through it all, the lives of Saleem and Shiva are mysteriously intertwined. They are also inextricably linked to the history of India itself, which takes them on a whirlwind journey full of trials, triumphs and disasters. (c) Paladin


Satya Bhabha
as Saleem Sinai
Shahana Goswami
as Amina (Mumtaz) Sinai
Rajat Kapoor
as Aadam Aziz
Seema Biswas
as Mary Pereira
Shriya Saran
as Parvati-the-Witch
as Shiva
Ronit Roy
as Ahmed Sinai
Rahul Bose
as General Zulfikar
Charles Dance
as William Methwold
Kulbhushan Kharbanda
as Picture Singh
Darsheel Safary
as The 10-year-old Saleem
Soha Ali Khan
as Jamila Sinai
Zaib Shaikh
as Nadir Khan
Samrat Chakrabarti
as Wee Willie Winkie
Sarita Choudhury
as The Prime Minister
Harish Khanna
as Joe d'costa
Mohamed Safran
as Aadam Sinai
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Critic Reviews for Midnight's Children

All Critics (63) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (37)

  • The effort to pack an already overstuffed picaresque epic into a film of more than two hours ends up an indigestible stew.

    May 24, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    May 9, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

    Claudia Puig

    USA Today
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    May 9, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • There are enough intermittent passages of power and beauty to get you through the slow spots.

    May 3, 2013 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • 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.

    May 3, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Mehta has given us something as pale as it is panoramic.

    May 2, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

    John Anderson

    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Midnight's Children

  • Apr 30, 2013
    First and foremost, "Midnight's Children" is a suitably epic and pointed look at post independence India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, as viewed through the eyes of the generation coming of age with their respective countries. The movie's main target is Partition, not only in the immediate harm it did, but also in how it continues to affect all three countries as the gift that keeps on giving. As the opening line of the movie says, we cannot understand the present without first understanding the past... ...but somewhere on the way to the screen, Salman Rushdie collaborating with director Deepa Mehta on adapting his own novel leaves behind much of the fantasy which made the book such an intriguing read about the midnight's children, the closer those born to midnight of independence day in 1947, the greater their special abilities, with an emphasis on the rivalry between Saleem Sinai(as a boy, Darsheel Safary, later, Satya Bhabha) and Shiva(Siddharth), both born exactly at midnight in the same hospital. Said fantasy would have definitely helped with the above allegory. Instead, the movie takes forever to get started(mind the generalization but I am beginning to suspect that everybody in India has a romantic tale of how their parents or grandparents met and fell in love) while keeping some details that are not exactly relevant to the larger story.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 19, 2012
    A true disappointment considering all who were involved. Midnight's Children is hampered by muffled dialogue, scenes that are unexplainable and ultimately the problem with filming an unfilmable book.
    John B Super Reviewer

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