Little magic or realism to be found in ‘Midnight’s Children’

Satya Bhabha (left) and Shriya Saran in a scene from director Deepa Mehta’s “Midnight’s Children.”
Satya Bhabha (left) and Shriya Saran in a scene from director Deepa Mehta’s “Midnight’s Children.” Credit: Paladin and 108 Media

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The talented Deepa Mehta directs from a screenplay that Salman Rushdie adapted from his own novel, but the effort to pack an already overstuffed picaresque epic into a film of more than two hours ends up an indigestible stew.

Too many subplots spoil the broth in this tale about a man with a big nose and telepathic powers who, along with 581 others, shares India’s birthdate and destiny. In English, Hindi, and Urdu with subtitles. Some scenes, if not spellbinding, do aspire to the poetic, but as the epic tale of a nation’s travails told from the point of view of a kooky character, this plays like a lumpy Indian version of “Forrest Gump.”

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