Saleem Sinai, a snotty & big-nosed individual is at the crux of Salman Rushdie's vivid tale and Deepa Mehta has set herself the mammoth task of translating this magical realism of Midnight's Children on to the screen. That being the case, she has to level her star-studded cast alongside the imagination that has run wild for those who've read it. And for those who haven't, the edit plays out like a partition tale with familiar partition scenes. There's no escaping the freedom of words vs. singular vision of cinema in a story such as this. Then again, a story of over three generations set to unravel over a matter of hours can't be curtailed into a 'first look' trailer.
Satya Bhabha son of Homi K. Bhabha and of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World fame, takes the lead as Saleem, one of the lucky many who were born exactly when India gained its freedom. Bestowed with telepathic powers he realises he is not alone. There is Parvati, essayed by Shriya Saran who seems to have hit the jackpot with this one. And then there's Siddharth who takes on Shiva 'of the knees'. We can see he looks good in uniform. But what we really want to see are those ginormous Patella.
As for Saleem, he looks nothing like the character from the book - his nose is not large (though if you look closely enough he seems to be wearing a prosthetic). And we can't spot the bald patch, courtesy the mean teacher.
Hopefully the presence of a long list of who's who such as Soha Ali Khan as superstar Jamila Singer, Shabana Azmi as grandma Naseem sans the witch's nipples, Rahul Bose as General Zulfikar who we're keen to see transform to the likeness of Pulcinella, Darsheel Safary as the young Saleem and many more, will distract us from Saleem's appearance and the urge to relapse into Rushdie's original.
Maybe it will also help that Salman Rushdie himself is the narrator of the story. But is there any reason for the dialogue delivery to be read out like a book?
Releasing October 26, we're keen to see Deepa Mehta do justice to this classic.
Watch the trailer: