All audience reviews of Midnight's Children

  • All The Lost Souls

    Nikhil Arora

    Desimartini | Updated - February 06, 2013 13:11 PM IST
    2.6DM (226 ratings)
    2.8Critic (5 ratings)

    Verdict - Midnight’s Children is a failure of an epic

    Midnight's ChildrenWatch trailerRelease date : February 01, 2013

    There have been quite a few film adaptations of great novels of late. They were mostly deemed unfilmable and the one that turned out great was Life of Pi. Midnight's Children deserves a great film. Anything less is, well, not great. Deepa Mehta's film version is a misfire. The story, of course, is phenomenal. Whenever the film works it is because of the source material. There is beauty in Rushdie's verses which can only be decorated by celluloid. Instead, the beauty is squeezed out in spurts and the extraction process rids the film of its grand potential. This novel needs expansion on screen. A 500-page novel needs expansion? It could only need trimming you would think. No, the expansion I'm talking about is one of imagination.

    The screenplay is adapted by Salman Rushdie himself. I don't know how much I could blame our Mario Puzo here but I believe the failure resides in only one person's hands - Deepa Mehta. Apart from the fact that I think Mehta is barely talented as a storyteller, she has managed to make her mark by feeding off of controversies. Not to mention they mostly please only one section of the niche audience of India filmgoers. Midnight's Children is tonally disjointed and ultimately a colossal failure. Not only does it fail as an adaptation but primarily as a film. Especially when the story takes fantastical turn. There is neither magic nor realism to be found here.

    Some segments work well in the film. The rich/ poor divide, the Emergency sequence to name a few. But do they dazzle? Not really. It is mostly full of bad scenes. There is a voice-over where Rushdie sometimes reads his words verbatim to retain the “essence” of the novel. There is no point in retaining the essence if the scenes aren't constructed with attention to cinematic credence. This is not just seen in the scenes which involve fantastical sweep. I did not expect the children of midnight to become Hollywood superheroes. I'm talking about scenes that involve people talking. You don't feel a part of the story. There are also hideous moments like a brief montage which shows the final moments of three characters in succession. This is nothing else except bad filmmaking.

    A good cast is assembled but they are no Avengers. The casting decisions are dull and uninspired. I was impressed with Siddharth, Shahana Goswami, Kulbhushan Khuarbanda and Seema Biswas but the rest of the actors add nothing to the film. Anupam Kher, Shabana Azmi and Soha Ali Khan show promise but are wasted. Ronit Roy and Darsheel Safary seem to have walked off from the sets of Udaan (2010) and Taare Zameen Par (2007). Rajat Kapoor and Rahul Bose can make even any film suffer with their presence, they make acting look bad.

    The biggest casting blunder is that of our protagonist - Saleem Sinai who is awkwardly played by Satya Bhabha. Not that he is a bad actor but in this film he is just plain wrong. He doesn't make the character relatable, forget likable. From playing an evil-ex-boyfriend in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010) this actor had a role of a lifetime. Probably under a better director, he could have done justice to the role. For me, Midnight's Children is a failure of an epic.

more audience reviews

  • Manu Agrawal

    Manu Agrawal

    126 Reviews , 15 Followers
    Rated 4.0February 24, 2013

    Festival Circuits only !

    When people like Salman Rushdie and Deepa Mehta collaborate, and the product is still allowed to be presented to the public, that itself is a more

  • Abhra Das

    Abhra Das

    4 Reviews
    Rated 4.0February 07, 2013

    Sheer Poetry On Screen

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  • Nikhil Arora

    Nikhil Arora

    213 Reviews , 368 Followers
    Rated 2.0February 06, 2013

    All The Lost Souls

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  • Vinay


    1 Reviews
    Rated 4.0February 05, 2013

    Midnight's Children

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  • Vinay


    1 Reviews
    Rated 4.0February 04, 2013

    Midnight's Children

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critic reviews

  • Mihir Fadnavis

    Mihir Fadnavis

    Rated 2.0February 6, 2013

    Midnight's Children

    Rushdie’s screenplay, based on his own book gets some of its ‘essence’ right, but director Deepa Mehta does a mostly appalling ha... read more

  • Rashid Irani

    Rashid Irani

    Rated 2.5February 2, 2013

    Midnight's Children

     Salman Rushdie's 1981 novel Midnight's Children had long been thought unfilmable. A measure of credit is due, then, to director Deepa Mehta f... read more

  • Rajeev Masand

    Rajeev Masand

    Rated 2.5February 2, 2013

    Midnight's Children

    The problem with authors adapting their own books into screenplays is that they're often so attached to the material, it's hard for them to yank ou... read more

  • Shubhra Gupta

    Shubhra Gupta

    Rated 2.5February 2, 2013

    Midnight's Children

    At the stroke of the midnight hour, a nation was born. So was Saleem Sinai, a midnight's child whose destiny was yoked to the other children who we... read more

  • IANS


    Rated 4.5February 1, 2013

    Midnight's Children

    SPOILERS AHEADDeepa Mehta's Midnight's Children is not a well-crafted film of Salman Rushdie's Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name. Yet it ... read more