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  • Summary: At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, as India proclaims independence from Great Britain, two newborn babies are switched by a nurse in a Bombay hospital. Saleem Sinai, the illegitimate son of a poor woman, and Shiva, the offspring of a wealthy couple, are fated to live the destinyAt the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, as India proclaims independence from Great Britain, two newborn babies are switched by a nurse in a Bombay hospital. Saleem Sinai, the illegitimate son of a poor woman, and Shiva, the offspring of a wealthy couple, are fated to live the destiny meant for each other. Their lives become mysteriously intertwined and are inextricably linked to India's whirlwind journey of triumphs and disasters. [Paladin] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    May 9, 2013
    83
    Not only compelling and complex, but educational.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    May 3, 2013
    75
    The film’s political scope is wide, beginning in 1917 and extending for sixty years, and, especially in the first hour or so, the antic, magical tone of Rushdie’s novel is sustained.
  3. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    May 10, 2013
    63
    The film is beautifully shot, with vivid production design. But because of the tale's lack of cohesion, it doesn't carry enough emotional heft.
  4. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Apr 23, 2013
    60
    Even if you've read the novel, and are prepared for the long running time and haphazard structure, this isn't a movie you should expect to feel or even closely follow. See it if Midnight's Children is a novel you always wanted the gist of.
  5. Reviewed by: Rachel Saltz
    Apr 25, 2013
    60
    The film needs an injection of Bollywood’s unembarrassed, anything-goes, bigger-than-life spirit, which embraces willy-nilly — as does Mr. Rushdie’s novel — the vulgar, the fanciful and the frankly unbelievable.
  6. Reviewed by: Stephen Farber
    Apr 1, 2013
    50
    Despite the solid work of cast and crew, the film dawdles and fails to justify its two-and-a-half-hour running time. Midnight reaches its tender conclusion without ever achieving the emotional or dramatic heft that such an epic tale requires.
  7. Reviewed by: Eric Hynes
    Apr 23, 2013
    40
    A miniseries, which the BBC once planned, might have worked. In this form, Midnight’s Children has the paradoxical misfortune of being both too rushed and too wearingly long.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. Apr 28, 2013
    6
    When I noticed this movie I didn't realize it was rushdie's movie/writing. Additionally when i saw the trailer it was portrayed to me as aWhen I noticed this movie I didn't realize it was rushdie's movie/writing. Additionally when i saw the trailer it was portrayed to me as a coming of age for these kids during a unique time in history. However, what I got was a long story which revolves around these kids that were born during the exact moment of independence. A good premise but very bad execution. Underacted with potential storylines unexplored. The supernatural collection of these children that come together on occasion throughout the movie is the main plot of the story but wasn't compelling at all. Collapse
  2. May 9, 2014
    3
    The plot is about several of children born around the first hour of India’s independence, the

    central character being Saleem Sinai (Satya
    The plot is about several of children born around the first hour of India’s independence, the

    central character being Saleem Sinai (Satya Bhabha as adult, Darsheel Safary as 10 years

    old), who with others born around the midnight of 15th August 1947 possess special powers.

    (prophecy, magic, metamorphosis).

    They are the Indian X-Men, and they become the embodiment of the best hope of the two nations

    during a period of bad faith, violence and the betrayal of democracy. At the centre is a variation

    of Mark Twain’s ‘The Prince and the Pauper’: a rich boy and the son of a street musician are

    swapped at birth by the midwife (Seema Bishwas) who believes she is exercising benign social

    engineering; ‘the rich become poor and the poor rich’, as guided by her communist lover’s

    political ideology.

    The rest that follows is hastily and poorly done chronicle of Saleem’s life as it intertwines with

    the new independent life of India, with occasional visits from other ‘Midnight’s Children’

    who are called for conference by Saleem (why always when he is sad or disturbed?), who has

    telepathic abilities, with the twitching of his remarkably large nose.

    In efforts to capture the true essence of the vastly detailed volume of a book, Mehta and Rushdie

    have, though possibly unintentionally, given the audience, who are occasionally thrown from

    scene to scene, a sense of the movie being crammed up hastily into the space allocated by

    conventional filmmaking without letting a chance for the people or the scenes sink properly. The

    sympathy doesn’t go to the characters or anything that happens; instead it is on the actors.

    The movie is not a waste altogether; the landscape of Kashmir has been captured gorgeously.

    The film is beautifully shot, with a real sense of colour, texture, settings and light. Mehta

    packs our ride with startling details that grasp our interests as we are whisked into decades.

    So solemnly I wish it were the same with the details in the plot. The film loses its way into

    the second half and dawdles; failing to justify it’s over two-and-half hours’ duration. All

    in all, ‘Midnight’s Children’ drags to its end without tracing its mark anywhere. A dull

    adaptation, ‘Midnight’ fails to ‘hit-the-spittoon’.
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