Midnight's Children (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

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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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
Drama , Science Fiction & Fantasy
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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
Anupam Kher
as Ghani
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
Shabana Azmi
as Naseem
Sarita Choudhury
as The Prime Minister
Rakhi Kumari
as Vanita
Harish Khanna
as Joe d'costa
Ranvir Shorey
as Laurel
Salman Rushdie
as Narrator
Mohamed Safran
as Aadam Sinai
Anish Majumdar
as Emerald
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Critic Reviews for Midnight's Children

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (18)

A film bloated by excess material.

Full Review… | June 6, 2013
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | May 24, 2013
Boston Globe
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | May 9, 2013
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.

Full Review… | May 9, 2013
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

There are enough intermittent passages of power and beauty to get you through the slow spots.

Full Review… | May 3, 2013
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | May 3, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Midnight's Children

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 Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

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.

Nick Riley
Nick Riley

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