Midnight's Children (film)
|Directed by||Deepa Mehta|
|Produced by||David Hamilton
|Screenplay by||Salman Rushdie|
|Based on||Midnight's Children
by Salman Rushdie
|Edited by||Colin Monie|
Midnight's Children is a 2012 Canadian-British film adaptation of Salman Rushdie's 1981 novel of the same name. The film features an ensemble cast of Satya Bhabha, Shriya Saran, Siddharth Narayan, Ronit Roy, Anupam Kher, Shabana Azmi, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Seema Biswas, Shahana Goswami, Samrat Chakrabarti, Rahul Bose, Soha Ali Khan, Anita Majumdar and Darsheel Safary. With a screenplay by Rushdie and directed by Deepa Mehta, the film began principal photography in Colombo, Sri Lanka in February 2011 and wrapped in May 2011. Shooting was kept a secret as Mehta feared protests by Islamic fundamentalist groups.
The film was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Vancouver International Film Festival, and the BFI London Film Festival. The film was also a nominee for Best Picture and seven other categories at the 1st Canadian Screen Awards, winning two awards.
- Satya Bhabha as Saleem Sinai
- Shriya Saran as Parvati
- Siddharth Narayan as Shiva
- Darsheel Safary as Saleem Sinai (as a child)
- Anupam Kher as Ghani
- Shabana Azmi as Naseem
- Neha Mahajan as Young Naseem
- Seema Biswas as Mary
- Charles Dance as William Methwold
- Samrat Chakrabarti as Wee Willie Winkie
- Rajat Kapoor as Aadam Aziz
- Soha Ali Khan as Jamila
- Rahul Bose as Zulfikar
- Anita Majumdar as Emerald
- Shahana Goswami as Amina
- Chandan Roy Sanyal as Joseph D'Costa
- Ronit Roy as Ahmed Sinai
- Kulbhushan Kharbanda as Picture Singh
- Shikha Talsania as Alia
- Zaib Shaikh as Nadir Khan
- Sarita Choudhury as Indira Gandhi
- Vinay Pathak as Hardy
- Kapila Jeyawardena as Governor
- Ranvir Shorey as Laurel
- Suresh Menon as Field Marshal
- Rajesh Khera
- Salman Rushdie, narrator 
In 2008, Mehta and Salman Rushdie decided to collaborate on a film together. At first Mehta wanted to adapt his novel Shalimar the Clown, but she eventually decided on Midnight's Children instead. Rushdie spent the next two years paring down the 600-page book into a 130-page script. Rushdie told the BBC in an interview that he sold the rights to the film for $1.
The casting process began in early 2010. For the role of the protagonist Saleem Sinai, Mehta wanted Imran Khan, but his salary was outside of the film's budget. She decided to cast British actor Satya Bhabha instead after seeing video of him performing in a play. Kangana Ranaut and Rani Mukerji were originally cast as Emerald and Amina, but both had to be replaced due to scheduling conflicts. Irrfan Khan was also forced to pull out due to conflicts with Life of Pi and Nandita Das opted out of the film after she had her first child. Rahul Bose (who had earlier been slated to play Saleem in the BBC's aborted version of the novel) was selected for the role of Emerald's husband Zulfikar and Shabana Azmi was cast as Saleem's grandmother Naseem.
Principal shooting began in February 2011 in Colombo, Sri Lanka as Mehta feared protests by Muslim fundamentalists if the film was shot in Pakistan and by Hindu fundamentalists if it was made in Mumbai. Cast members had secrecy clauses added to their contracts to help keep the production quiet. Production design was handled by Mehta's brother Dilip Mehta. Under his direction, authentic Delhi-style furniture, props and costumes were shipped in from India. Shooting was briefly interrupted when Iran complained to the Sri Lanka government about the film and the crew was ordered to halt production. Mehta appealed to President Mahinda Rajapaksa who agreed to let filming continue. Winds of Change was the working title of the film during the shooting. Filming lasted a total of 69 days from February to May 2011. In all, 800 extras were used.
The film premiered on September 9, 2012 at the Toronto International Film Festival with repeat screenings on the 10th and 27th. The film had its Indian premiere on 10 December 2012 at the 17th International Film Festival of Kerala. After the premiere show, Indian National Congress leaders came against the movie alleging that the film portrays former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and some other leaders in a negative manner. Following the allegations, any further screening of the film in the festival was stopped, an act which drew heavy criticism.
After initial fears that the movie would not find a distributor in India, the distribution rights were acquired by the Mumbai-based company PVR Pictures. In India, the film was released on February 1, 2013.
|indicates that the given rating is an average rating of all reviews provided by the source|
Nishi Tiwari for Rediff.com gave 3/5 stars and said: "Midnight’s Children is a must watch for people who’ve yearned to experience Salman Rushdie iconic storytelling in a more accessible format." Rotten Tomatoes provides a summary of the major reviews, which are less than gushing. The critical consensus states that "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." It holds a 42% rating on the Tomatometer based on 53 reviews. Reviews include: "There are some beautiful moments and some decent performances, but it's also something of a slog and ultimately fails to engage on an emotional level", "There's humour and heart here, but it's an overlong tale as meandering as the Ganges." and "Watchable without ever feeling essential."
- "Midnight's Children (2013) - Box Office Mojo". boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
- "Midnight's Children (2013) - International Box Office Results - Box Office Mojo". boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
- Smith, Ian Hayden (2012). International Film Guide 2012. p. 143. ISBN 978-1908215017.
- "Deepa Mehta Plays With Fire Again". Mid-Day. 27 February 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
- "Deepa finds Midnight's Children lead". Times of India. 21 August 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
- Kamath, Sudish (4 February 2011). "The Saturday Interview - Here and there". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
- "Soha Unplugged". Indian Express. 25 February 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
- Talukdar, Taniya (21 March 2011). "Shahana Goswami wants to act in a comedy". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
- Jha, Subhash (13 March 2011). "Sanyal to play ghost in Midnight's Children". Mid-Day. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
- "Ronit, the bad dad". Hindustan Times. 27 April 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
- "Salman Rushdie brings 'Midnight's Children' to big screen". CNN. 6 May 2013.
- Nolen, Stephanie (15 May 2011). "Mehta at midnight". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children is adapted for film
- Lalwani, Vickey (3 September 2010). "Kangna quits Midnight's Children". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
- "No new films for Irrfan Khan!". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
- Jha, Subhash (23 February 2011). "Nandita opts out Midnight's Children". Times of India. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
- Rushdie, Salman (2002). Step across this line: collected nonfiction 1992-2002. Random House. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-679-46334-4.
- "Midnight's Children". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
- "Midnight's Children (last screening at the TIFF)". Toronto International Film Festival.
- Nolen, Stephanie (15 May 2011). "Mehta at midnight". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- "Midnight's Children to have Indian premier in IFFK". The Hindu. 2 December 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- "Midnight's Children to be screened today". The Times of India. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- "Ban to Deepa Mehta's 'Midnight Children'". Entecity.com. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- Ramnath, Nandini. "PVR to distribute 'Midnight's Children' in India". Mint. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- "Midnight's Children' to release Feb 1 in India". Times of India.
- Nishi Tiwari. "Review: Midnight's Children is magical, a must watch". Rediff.com. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- "Midnight's Children - Rotten Tomatoes". rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 5 April 2014.