India, 1947. Saleem (Satya Bhabha) is born at the exact moment his nation achieves independence from Britain. Little do his know but, amid the historic tumult that lies ahead, his fate is mystically tied to his fellow travellers, Midnight's Children.
Tactfully scripted (and narrated) by Salman Rushdie from his own novel, Midnight’s Children follows Saleem (Satya Bhabha), born in 1947 at the exact moment of India’s independence from the British Empire. Essentially, it’s the X-Men as conceived by Satyajit Ray — all Indian children born on this night have mutant powers and come together in a communion created by the nasally-psychic Saleem, though his dark alter ego Shiva (Siddharth) threatens to eclipse him. It can’t cram in the whole novel, but a large cast — including Charles Dance as the last crazed colonial — embody the book’s mix of humour, magic, history, anger and affection.
Thanks to Rushdie's sensitive handling of his own material, this is an adaptation big in both ideas and heart.
Reviewed by Kim Newman