Midnight’s Children at CAAMFEST
“Midnight’s Children” is an adaption of Salman Rushdie’s epic tale of the same title which won the Booker Prize in 1981. Actor Samrat Chakrabarti (as Wee Willie Winkie), appeared with actor Satya Bhabha (as Saleem Sinai) for a Q&A following the CAAMFEST screening last night at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, and called the tale “a love letter to Bombay.”
Having not read the book, I found the movie difficult to follow from a plot and character development point of view. It took me a while to figure out who the main character was (Saleem) and his raison d’être (being a midnight’s child in the wake of India’s independence from Great Britain).
The glimpses of the many interwoving themes based on India’s history and the idea of children born at the stroke of midnight with magical powers are quite compelling, though, and make me want to read the book. In that light, I very much appreciate director Deepa Mehta’s grand effort to capture the tale for a mass audience which may otherwise never know about it nor believe the material accessible.
For more riveting narratives about Asian and Asian-American cultural and historical lore, check out the incredible array of films, events and discussions happening at CAAMFEST all this week. www.caamfest.com