Now that Midnight’s
Children is out, it’s easy to understand why there aren’t more Salman
Rushdie novels gracing the multiplexes. It’s not that they’re all going to be
bad—Rushdie’s memoir, Joseph Anton, might make a fine film—but if any of
them are half as bad as Midnight’s Children, it’s best not to make them
The story is
uninvolving, with a passive main character, Saleem Sinai (Satya Bhabha), who
exists solely so that things may happen to him. He and his antagonist, Shiva
(Siddarth), are born at midnight on the day of India’s independence from Great
that don’t make sense—other than, perhaps, an attempt at narrative flow—they’re
switched. Saleem is taken home by a rich family, Shiva by a poor family. There
are other children born at midnight, and because Saleem has an enormous nose
(really), he can summon them and talk to them all. Shiva uses the group
meetings of midnight’s children as an opportunity to harass and bully the other
India go to war. Saleem and Shiva cross paths. Saleem falls in love with
Parvati (Shriya Saran). Rushdie, who wrote the screenplay, narrates. Why? A
better question: Why would anyone want to see this convoluted, nonsensical
tale, which lasts 140 minutes?
With Satya Bhabha, Siddarth and Shriya Saran
Santa Fe Reporter
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