Written September 18, 2014
A remarkable film about identity, allegiance, and personal relationships following the independence and partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. Salman Rushdie, who wrote the screenplay based on his original novel, uses plot devices like switched-at-birth, lost love, various kinds of adoption and unofficial parenting as rich metaphors. Especially for a writer who doesn't write screenplays, Rushdie succeeds in compressing a very complex plot into a linear if sometimes surreal narrative those who haven't read the novel can follow. And visually the film is exquisite without romanticizing the lush landscapes, decaying infrastructure, and ramshackle slums of the post-colonial subcontinent.
Written July 28, 2014
The casting was not so great, and some of the actors playing central characters did not carry their weight. I have not read the book, and following the story of the family across the generations was presented in a way that made it hard to weave together in a coherent narrative in my mind. Strictly from a movie-making point of view, I would have preferred to see the fantasy/magical realism elements developed much more, both in spending more time exploring the nature of the powers people developed and how the characters dealt with them and thought of their significance and in really taking advantage of using some special effects to give them more visual resonance. Overall, not worth seeing.
Written July 30, 2014
A beautifully filmed story of the lives of the babies born on the day of India's independence from British colonial rule. Many characters, trials, tribulations of the time -- plus magic! For people who know nothing about the partition of India: Hindu India, Muslim East and West Pakistan and subsequently independent Bangladesh -- this is a must-see primer. It can only shed light on today's news events and the political/social climate in the region.
Written September 15, 2014
Rushdie tells a brutal but finally uplifting tale of two boys switched at birth (prince and the pauper). In the process he gives up a history lesson of events in the Indian subcontinent from the Raj to the end of the emerfgency. Highly recommended.
Written April 30, 2013
Beautifully made, intense, very close to the feel of the story and character development.