Midnight's Children - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Midnight's Children Reviews

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May 22, 2018
Eine wirklich kongeniale Adaption des ersten Romans von Salman Rushdie. Die Geschichte, nein, die Familiensaga, beschreibt die Geschichte des indischen Subkontinents vom Ende der Kolonialherrschaft bis zur Abspaltung Pakistans und Bangladeshs, beinhaltet kriegerische Auseinandersetzungen ebenso wie die brutalen Säuberungen der Slums von Bombay durch Indira Ghandis, am Bespiel einer Familie.
Das Spannende ist jedoch, dass die Geschichte und die Schicksale der Protagonisten im parallel zu der Geschichte des Subkontinents laufen, kein Wunder, sind die "Mitternachtskinder" doch um Mitternacht des 15. Augusts 1947 geboren, die Stunde der indischen Unabhängigkeit.
Die kindliche Distanz der realen Ereignisse könnte man dem Film vorwerfen, allerdings fesselt der so erzeugte Zauber und die zum Teil komische Surrealität den Zuschauer.
Es war von Vorteil, dass Salman Rushdie selbst das Drehbuch verfasste und so die Essenz seiner Romanvorlage einfangen konnte.
½ February 15, 2018
Beautiful, good idea, but maybe much too long for a single film. Interesting take on the evolution of India but the drama did not take. Some events seems coming out of a magician hat. Something is missing for the film to glue together.
½ June 8, 2016
I loved this movie. Great story and albeit a bit long, it was a beautiful narrative. We must not take any of our moments for granted, for it is all in love, we are love.
Super Reviewer
March 8, 2016
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.
½ October 31, 2015
This has got poor reviews but was perfect for a wet afternoon on holiday. It's lush, complex and ultimately redemptive. It covers a lot of ground and has some very harsh scenes. Magical realism at the service of history. Love overcomes all.
October 10, 2015
Deepa Mehta never fails... now making a movie based on such a wonderful book by Salman Rushdie, and with an impeccable cast of stellar actors, incredible music, rich and luscious images, this is, by far, one of the best movies I have watched this year, and it is on Netflix... Loved it so much and cried a few times as this was profound and beautiful.
October 3, 2015
I read Midnight's Children more than 20 years ago and was simply enthralled and mesmerized. There is no wonder that it was named the best novel written in 25 years (The Booker Prize).When I saw the negative critiques when the movie came out, I didn't bother to see the movie. But last night, my husband convinced me to check it out On Demand for free. And I'm so glad he did. the movie is wonderful. Once again, (and I have had this experience many times) the negative critics are WRONG. This movie is hella fresh! And my husband, who hasn't read the book loved it too!
½ September 29, 2015
An interesting premise, using the birth of a nation, and one nurses rather rash actions at the start of it to critic the divisions and attitudes between rich and poor through the early years of new nation. There's a large spiritual element to the film though, nothing religious, but one that doesn't always seem to fit right within the storyline.
September 26, 2015
June 2, 2015
Lush to look at. The simple linearity makes keeping up with the myriad of times and characters easy enough. Which is good because the story is packed. Something to be expected from Rusdie's huge novel. The quality of Rusdie's narration was a pleasant surprise. It's political and passionate, but doesn't quite achieve all of the magic it reaches for.
August 13, 2014
Saleem Sinai was born on the midnight when India got free from the British i.e. midnight of 14th August 1947. It seems that all children born on the same day between 12 A.M. and 1 A.M. are having some kind of power with which they are able to converse with each other irrespective of their actual locations. That kind of fantasy in 1947 seems too much to imagine. But keeping that apart, Midnight's Children takes us to the events that happened before the independence, after the independence and the time where India was getting its freedom.

Based on the novels of same name written by Salman Rushdie, Indian author who is known for taking serious topics and telling them in the most vivid ways possible, which worked for him until now. In this book also, he expresses most of the themes and emotions in the fantasy that the midnight boys live in. And while reading the book, it seems very intelligent and appealing, but when it comes to filming those fantasies, which is done in the best possible way here, it seems very unimaginative and weird. But I think we can manage with this problem when we know no better option was available.

The storyline is very complex yet it is very simple. A guy, named Saleem Sinai (Satya Bhabha), realises that he is having that power and he starts conversing with other children born on the same time as Saleem i.e. midnight of 14th August 1947. He is very poor and, that is because of a mistake committed by Mary, a house-maid, which I'll tell after sometime. Ultimately he gets to meet the children in person when he gets to be in other regions of India. He meets Parvati (Shriya Saran), who is a witch and has a magic-box with her and once someone is inside that box -- he becomes invisible. He also meets the man whose life he was living. Events take turns and after sometime he finds himself in a big problem. What that problem is and how Saleem deals with it or how the system deals with Saleem is pretty much to look forward to in the film after the first 90-minutes.

There are many cultural references in the movie. Like the opening scene in the movie when Ghani (Anupam Kher)'s daughter requires a doctor for curing some infection and the doctor is not allowed to see her face. He sees her anyway because he marries her. There are many others like these which tell us about the hidden culture of India, which indeed is a very fascinating thing.
This movie also tells us about human emotions and decision-making. Mary (Seema Biswas) switches the name-plate on the babies and that results in a highborn boy living a poor person's life and a lowborn boy living a rich person's life. She does it only for the pride of her socialist lover Joseph D'Costa. She curses herself for that mistake years after the deed was done.

The movie comprises of many brilliant actors and most of them in a blink-and-miss role like Anupam Kher, Shabana Azmi, Vinay Pathak, Shahana Goswami and many others. The lead actors are amateurs though. Satya Bhabha is a newcomer and he was cast for the role when some experienced and good actors refused the part because they thought the film would not create the same sensation as the book created back in 1980's, and as it turned out, they were right. The female lead Parvati is played by Shriya Saran, who also doesn't have much experience of doing such serious roles. There is then one more character of consideration in the movie, Mary. Mary is played by Seema Biswas, who undoubtedly is a great actress, and she plays every emotion and action with much understanding and excellance. I first saw her in Bandit Queen (1993) and since then, I have not been able to forget her.

Though there are many other characters in the movie which seemed of some importance but their screentime was reduced so much that you just get to know their names and faces and nothing else. Of course when there are so many characters, it becomes very difficult for the director to provide proper development to all the characters. Like there is Shiva (Siddharth Narayan) the person who stole Saleem's life, and I thought this character would be of some importance but no, not in the movie.

Veteran director Deepa Mehta tries her best to take care of the matter-at-hand but with so many characters and so many stories to tell, she definitely loses track and in the end movie seems like a two-and-a-half hour of mindless journey with so many subplots and none ending satisfactorily. Through the first hour of the movie, this seems no less than Mehta's earlier films, The Elements Trilogy, but as the movie progresses and characters continue pouring in, you lose interest. All I can say is it was very much difficult to make a 500 p. novel into a 150 minutes movie but the effort put forth by the director, Deepa Mehta, is worth praising.

The book was great of course as it got the Man Booker Prize but the film-adaption is not satisfying. Though there are some good things about the movie also like Rushdie's voiceover throughout the movie, the locations are very impressive and the dialogues are praiseworthy but a lot of missing points as well as a lack of character development repulses the viewers. The fantasies seem childish in the movie. The attempt was not bad and this is definitely better than our typical Bollywood movies but there was much scope in the movie to make it better.
July 28, 2014
Bizarre, yet engaging!
½ July 27, 2014
not actually a conventional Bollywood movie :D
July 21, 2014
The photography and acting was excellent, but I felt like I was somehow missing the point. Did the movie leave out some essential details? For some reason, the theme of the "midnight children's group" confused and bothered me. Maybe you have to be from India to appreciate that? But it was a good although extremely brief history of India's recent past.
July 10, 2014
Very interesting and creative story, and while I have not been to India, Pakistan or Bangladesh, I can see how this movie is exactly like places and people there.
June 28, 2014
This is a big movie, large themes and wide swaths of history, and geography much like India itself. Covering five generations of a family this is a beautiful film that might be trying to cover too much but give it a chance and watch for a bit of history.
½ June 24, 2014
Like its own characters, the movie was kind-hearted, beautiful, ambitious, yet failed to connect. I haven't read the book, but I imagine it would have more to offer with such amazing premise. I mean, it was a mixed of magical babies and brutal historic reality. It could have been great if the movie makers didn't rush things and try to pact them into one big mess, too darn long and incohesive.
June 5, 2014
I can see where this movie was going, but it somehow just never achieved its aim. The magic, emotion and awe I wanted to be stirred in me, failed to be awakened, although I did enjoy the music and picturesque scenes.
½ May 17, 2014
A feast for the eyes and the heart
May 1, 2014
OK, but really should be better. Lacks the passion and the earthy humour of one of the world's greatest books - what was Rushdie thinking?
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