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Midnight's Children (12)

Midnight's Children (12)


A pair of children, born within moments of India gaining independence from Britain, grow up in the country that is nothing like their parent's generation.

The critical consensus

Solid may ultimately be the best word for this pleasing, middlebrow adaptation of Rushdie's ‘unfilmable’ book.

***(*)(*)Allan Hunter, The List, 11/12/2012

Less isn't always more; sometimes more is more.

**(*)(*)(*)Nigel Andrews, Financial Times, 20/12/2012

The movie's pace flags a good deal once Bangladesh has been born in 1971, and the adult characters are much less interesting than their child counterparts, but there's enough here to entertain – and to send audiences back to the book.

***(*)(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 20/12/2012

Rushdie acts as a narrator, reminding the audience of the elegance of his prose, but he might have been better kept away from the screenplay. It can be very hard for an author to perform radical surgery to a deeply beloved novel, even in quest of a sleeker cinematic shape.

***(*)(*)Jenny McCartney, The Telegraph, 21/12/2012

Deepa Mehta directs with well-meaning professionalism, but with none of the visual extravagance that Life of Pi has in spades. The tie-in edition of the novel announces that it's "Now A Major Motion Picture", but "major" is just what Midnight's Children isn't.

Nicholas Barber, The Independent on Sunday, 23/12/2012

You wait a year for a film version of a Booker prize-winning magical realist novel largely concerned with people from the Indian subcontinent and widely considered to be unfilmable. Then suddenly two come along: Life of Pi and Midnight's Children. The lesser of the two, though a movie of ambition and distinction, Midnight's Children.

Philip French, The Observer, 23/12/2012

The film manages to rouse itself for a section that depicts the ferocious oppression of Indira Ghandi, an expressionistic passage that conveys brutality in an inchoate way. However, in awards season, when we are already overburdened by lengthy epics, Midnight’s Children makes you long for a shorter film, or the story of a small, younger country.

****(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 23/12/2012

It’s meant to be a film of wonders, but the only wonder is that the writer-narrator-exec-producer didn’t star in it, too.

*(*)(*)(*)(*)Anthony Quinn, The Independent, 27/12/2012

There are some nice performances here and there, but nothing about this contravenes why it was thought to be difficult book to make into a film.

**(*)(*)(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 27/12/2012

Thanks to Rushdie's sensitive handling of his own material, this is an adaptation big in both ideas and heart.

****(*)Kim Newman, Empire Online, 26/12/2012

Lacks soul, imagination and even basic logic.

Matt Thrift, Little White Lies, 25/12/2012

Considering Midnight’s Children is bound up in notions of identity, it is faintly disastrous that this adaptation should be so lacking in one of its own.

**(*)(*)(*)Robbie Collin, The Telegraph, 31/12/2012

Features about Midnight's Children (12)

Deepa Mehta--The battle behind Rushdie's film debut

James Mottram, The Independent, 15/12/2012

Where and when?

Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee from Friday January 11, 2013, until Thursday January 17, 2013. More info:

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