“A child and a country were born at midnight, once upon a time”: Salman Rushdie adapts and narrates his epic early novel about the birth pangs of modern India. Canadian-Indian filmmaker Deepa Mehta, whose films include the modestly titled trilogy, “Fire,” “Earth” and “Water,” marshals impressive resources in visualizing Rushdie’s epic saga, but something is missing: a compelling tempo; a different performance style? What we’re left with is incident after incident, plot, plot, plodding. The design is lovely to look at though, with cinematography by Giles Nuttgens (“What Maisie Knew”), who shot Mehta’s trilogy, too. The lovely score is by Nitin Sawhney, after the fashion of his music of the last decades. With Shahana Goswami, Rajat Kapoor, Satya Bhabha. 148m. (Ray Pride)
“Midnight’s Children” is now playing at Siskel.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor of Filmmaker magazine. He is also a photographer: his history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images is forthcoming; previews on Twitter (twitter.com/chighostsigns) as well as daily photography on Instagram: instagram.com/raypride. Twitter: twitter.com/rayPride. (Photo: Jorge Colombo.)