Midnight's Children (2013)
Critic 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.
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as Saleem Sinai
as Amina (Mumtaz) Sinai
as Aadam Aziz
as Mary Pereira
as Ahmed Sinai
as General Zulfikar
as William Methwold
as Picture Singh
as The 10-year-old Sale...
as Jamila Sinai
as Nadir Khan
as Wee Willie Winkie
as The Prime Minister
as Joe d'costa
as Aadam Sinai
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Critic Reviews for Midnight's Children
The effort to pack an already overstuffed picaresque epic into a film of more than two hours ends up an indigestible stew.
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.
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.
There are enough intermittent passages of power and beauty to get you through the slow spots.
Audience Reviews for Midnight's Children
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.
Watching Midnight's Children made me appreciate Life of Pi even more. See, Deepha Mehta tries to adapt an ambitious novel into film and completely collapses under it's weight. The film is epic to a fault, stretching across decades, generations, and countries. There's a million and one stories within, and while some are quite powerful, it's just too much. And while the geopolitical history and interpersonal drama are already both compelling enough, the film clumsily piles on a supernatural storyline that ultimately goes nowhere and feels like a waste of screen time. Mehta shines most in the most intimate of moments throughout the film, when she can explore themes of unconditional parental love, mistaking marriage for love, and conflict separating family and friends. There are some great stories here (possibly enough for a whole other trilogy), but compiled as is they're gasping for air.
Midnight's Children Quotes
|Narrator:||In exile, I learned about power.|
|Narrator:||As Joe had said, "Let the poor be rich and the rich be poor."|
|Narrator:||Sometimes people leech into each other, like flavors when you cook.|
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