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Fermín Gómez Lara
Luis Felipe Tovar,
With Rushdie having written the screenplay and being heavily involved, comments about faithfulness to the book are moot; also, the book is quite stylised and far too dense with detail to be easily converted.
So the biggest problems are thus:
* Technical atrocities
* Clichés layered on thick
* Terrible comedic timing
Firstly, the camera work is all over the shop. Hand-held DSLRs are wonderful bits of technology, but camera shake at certain moments of action is confusing, and a bit shoddy. It doesn't help the pace of the film, which changes at strange intervals.
Secondly, the compositions are banal. It's like they used iStockPhoto for storyboarding, and stuck every visual cliché about India into the shots.
Thirdly, there are moments in the film ripe for black comedy where there is none, and moments where comedy is just jarring. If you're going to mess with established concepts in the audiences' minds, it had better mean something. There is far too much throwaway material in the film.
And it's a long one, at 146 minutes, and could have been much shorter, with more energy, better pace, and of higher quality throughout. To the film's credit, there are production elements very well done; the use of children and animals, you'll be startled to hear, are handled brilliantly. But it's not really enough. It may be just that Salman Rushdie would have been better supervising the screenplay rather than writing it himself, and the film could use a complete re-edit, but it is what it is.
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