Directed by Deepa Mehta
Cornerhouse, 29 December 2012
Salman Rushdie narrates this film of his novel, all about the cohort of children born as India achieved independence from British rule.
We follow two boys, their lives mingling with each other’s and with the fate of India itself.
As a film it is beautiful to look at and epic in scope, but on the whole curiously disengaging. India is too pretty here perhaps, sanitised even, and the magic realist elements take us even further from the gritty reality of that sprawling nation. Rather than being rooted in a specific place, it feels as though the film could be set in any developing nation, maybe a Latin American country (considering Marquez’s influence on the author). And Rushdie’s pronouncements (e.g. ‘promises are made to be broken’) all too often sound trite rather than profound.
What saves the film is the quality of the performances, that’s what makes it well worth a watch. Ronit Roy, a brilliant actor, is terrific as the father here.