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Midnight's Children

Salman Rushdie has taken the bull by the horns with the screen adaptation of his award winning novel Midnight's Children. He not only wrote the screenplay for it, and executive produced the film version of his 1981 Booker winner, but he also is also the film's narrator, a voice-over role that serves to hold Midnight's Children together - and he is does a rather good job of it!

The film follows Saleem Sinai (Satya Bhabha), who tells the story set in the context of actual historical events. Saleem is born  at midnight, August 15, 1947 - the exact moment when India became an independent country, and is, therefore, exactly as old as the independent republic of India. At the hospital he had been switched with Shiva (Siddhart) who went on to live with his poor street performing 'father', while Saleem gets taken home by a rich, successful family. As he grows up, he discovers that he has telepathic powers, and later learns that all children born in India between 12 a.m. and 1 a.m. on that date, are imbued with special powers. Of course, as the children grow up - their paths begin to cross.

Academy Award nominated director Deepa Mehta has taken on this ambitious film masterfully, and she does well to bring the political history of India to the screen, mixed with a sense of whimsy set against a variety of beautiful backdrops India has to offer. Midnight's Children is certainly a spectacle, but it never managed to hold my attention, or evoke any emotion from me. The main story of Saleem's early life was a highlight, but I found that it went downhill from there. The magical realism scenes are disappointing, as although the acting was decent enough across the board, their powers were never particularly believable, and so those scenes felt a little weak.

Having been spoilt by the phenomenal Life of Pi, I would perhaps suggest giving Midnight's Children a miss and seeing that instead!

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UK Release Date: 
Wednesday, December 26, 2012