Set in colonial India against Gandhi's rise to power, it's the story of 8-year-old Chuyia, who is widowed and sent to a home to live in penitence; once there, Chuyia's feisty presence deeply affects the lives of the other residents.
A story of love and enchantment set in the coldest of winters, it explores the issues, dilemmas and barriers facing the lucky and unlucky in love in the 21st Century, based on the novel of ... See full summary »
It's 1947 and the borderlines between India and Pakistan are being drawn. A young girl witnesses tragedy as her ayah (nanny) is caught between the love of two men and the rising tide of political and religious violence.
23-year-old Nikhil comes to Canada from India to find his fortune and is convinced by his uncle to work as a companion and care-giver to Sam, an elderly Jewish man. An unlikely friendship ensues, which gives both men new insight into life.
Says Noemi Weis, President of Filmblanc: "Deepa Mehta is a master of the exposé. As a documentary director, she has elevated the issue of domestic violence in such a way that we can no ... See full summary »
Was shot under the title," Winds of Change," to distract potential threats to cast and crew from anti-Rushdie factions. See more »
Saleem goes to Karachi, Pakistan after leaving Aunt Emerald's house. After coming out of the railway station, the taxi that takes him home is an Ambassador car manufactured by HM "Hindustan Motors", available only in India. See more »
Written by Carmen Taylor and Arthur Truscott
Performed by Midnight Children's Marching Band See more »
A bit of a shocker
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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