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Midnight’s Children

, written by Salman Rushdie

 
 
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> Midnight’s Children, written by Salman Rushdie
Sharmila-Sweet
post Sep 14 2010, 11:39 AM
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Midnight’s Children hits floors in December
Roshmila Bhattacharya, Hindustan Times
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Mumbai, September 12, 2010First Published: 12:23 IST(11/9/2010)

Shabana Azmi refuses to divulge details about her role in Deepa Mehta’s screen adaptation of Midnight’s Children. But admits that she’s thrilled with the script. “When I read Salman Rushdie’s Booker Prize-winning novel, I thought it would be impossible to film. But Deepa and Salman have come up with a crackling screenplay and I’m impressed,” she exults.

Azmi is excited at the prospect of working with Mehta again after the aborted Water. Nandita Das and she had to step aside after Mehta was told that distributors wouldn’t touch her film if it featured the two actresses, following a shoot in Varanasi that was disrupted by angry fundamentalists, forcing the unit to move to Sri Lanka. Lisa Ray stepped in for Das and Seema Biswas for Azmi.

“We believed in the film and the issues it raised. And agreed that the fundamentalist forces had to be defeated. We were vindicated when the film was nominated for the Oscars,” asserts Azmi.

Midnight’s Children flags off in December. Before that, in October, Azmi will be touring the US with her one-woman play, Broken Images. “I’ve received another exciting movie offer but I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it since I’m committed to this tour,” she says. “I’m looking forward to it since the play works differently with different audiences.”

Written by Girish Karnad and directed by Alyque Padamsee, Broken Images is a psychological thriller revolving around a Hindi short story writer who becomes famous overnight after writing an English bestseller. She goes to a TV studio for an interview and on the way out, her on-screen image starts talking to her and has us wondering whether it is her, her paralised younger sister Malini who used to write in English or her conscience speaking.

“Technically, it’s a huge challenge because I’m not enacting two characters but two facets of the same character. The TV image lasts for 42 minutes and is a single-take effort. The lines have been pre-recorded and I have to react to them on stage, so timing is crucial,” explains Azmi.

She was in Rothak for a show recently and an hour before it was to start, she was asked by the organiser if she could speak more Hindi since only 20 per cent of the audience understood English.

“My image had to speak English but I reacted to what she was saying in Hindi, translating my lines live on stage, without any rehearsal,” she recalls. “I don’t know how I did it but when the show ended, the organiser was in tears and the audience were up on their feet applauding.”

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IDOL
post Sep 15 2010, 02:52 AM
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hmm....a salman rushdie novel?...hmmm.....interesting.....i liked Mehta's Water movie......let's see how's this one.......i like this woman's work....




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HarshBhatt
post Sep 15 2010, 08:13 AM
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I do not have good feelings about this, very tough topic for Deepa Mehta to handle, lets wait.
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Sharmila-Sweet
post Apr 14 2011, 01:43 PM
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After Irrfan Khan opted out, Ronit Roy came on board for Midnight's Children
By Subhash K. Jha, April 13, 2011 - 14:54 IST
Ronit Roy is back being the bad dad. In Udaan, he roughed up his 16-year old screen-son (Rajat Barmecha) so bad the boy finally runs away from home. Now in Deepa Mehta's Midnight's Children, a role Ronit flash-stepped into, just like Udaan where he was a last-minute replacement-he hits his screen-son (Darsheel Safary) so hard the character goes deaf in one year.

The musical chairs in the casting for Deepa Mehta's Midnight's Children continues. Now it comes to light that Udaan's multi-award winning actor Ronit Roy has suddenly replaced Irrfan Khan to play the pivotal role of Ahmed Sinai, the protagonist Saleem Sinai's father.

Apparently, Deepa was keen that Irrfan do the role for two reasons: she had never worked with her arch-rival Mira Nair's favourite actor before, and more importantly she needed someone with a good command over the Holy Quran.

Says a source, "Irrfan fitted the bill perfectly. However, his dates clashed with two other international projects Spiderman and Life Of Pi. So he had to reluctantly back out. That's when Deepa's search for Saleem Sinai's father started again. Someone recommended the man who played the father in Udaan. Deepa ordered a copy of Udaan and she was immediately convinced Ronit was right for the part."

Ronit Roy, heady with all the adulation and awards for Udaan, was looking for a challenging role to take him ahead of Udaan. That's when he stepped in to shoot for Midnight's Children in Colombo.

When contacted Ronit says, "I am really not at liberty to talk about this. But yes I've been shooting out of the country away from my family. That's been tough on me. I don't like to take my wife and daughter on location. It's a torture for them and a distraction for me."

Apparently, Ronit has been studying the Holy Quran for the role. "Like I said, I can't really talk about this," he ends.

Interestingly, Ronit was again the last-minute replacement for the young father's role in Udaan when the first choice Kay Kay Menon suddenly opted out. Maybe this role too would prove lucky for Ronit.
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Sharmila-Sweet
post May 17 2011, 10:03 AM
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Midnight... is my largest film ever
Says Deepa Mehta, who just finished shooting Midnight’s Children across 64 locations and with a mamoth cast. In a candid chat she also talks about her equations with her actors and co-writer Salman Rushdie



Subhash K Jha

Posted On Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 03:26:23 AM



Deepa Mehta is excited about her dream project. Her film, based on Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, is complete within a span of three months.

Unaffected by the speculations surrounding the cast of her film in India, the director is content with the way the film has turned out to be.

Working with her script writer Salman Rushdie was a smooth process, she says, but also admits that not once was she overwhelmed by his towering and controversial international image. Excerpts from a candid interview.

► How did you finish shooting all of Midnight’s Children in such a short span of time?

We have been shooting continuously since February 5. I wouldn’t call that a short span of time!

► The film has a vast cast. Could you tell us about the actors?

I feel incredibly privileged to have had the opportunity to work with such a talented group of actors. With Shabana Azmi, with whom I worked in Fire, it was like rediscovering her marvellous instinct. She made the perfect Naseem.

Seema Biswas continues to surprise me with her attention to detail and her ability to mould a new aspect of the character. Some actors I had never worked with before and yet others for whom Midnight’s Children was a first film.

Satya Bhabha was superb in the role of older Saleem. Siddharth who plays Shiva, his nemesis, was equally compelling.

► Midnight’s Children has been shot in Sri Lanka instead of Pakistan and India. Why?

Mainly for the locations. The India and Pakistan (Bombay and Karachi) of the 40’s and 70’s would have been near impossible to find or replicate, so I chose Sri Lanka.

► Did you anticipate some kind of a backlash because of Salman Rushdie’s controversial image as an iconoclastic litterateur?

No. None at all.

► What is the spoken language of the film? How do you intend to pitch it in the international market?

The film has been pre-sold in all the major markets of the world. The language of the film is English, Urdu and Hindi.

► Do you think it will have a smooth release in India?

I have no clue and neither do I have any expectations.

► How would you describe the experience of shooting Midnight’s Children when compared with your earlier works?

It’s the largest film I have done. Logistically it was a challenge. It spans three decades, has a huge cast and 64 locations.

► How much of the book have you retained in the film?

The heart and soul of the book is intact, as well its humour and I hope its emotional content too.

► Were you and Salman Rushdie able to work peacefully as co-writers?

Salman wrote the script. My contribution to it was as a director. We worked closely and I must say, easily. He has a great sense of humour and understands the cinematic language completely.



First look of Deepa Mehta’s adaptation of Midnight’s Children

► Did Rushdie have a say in the shooting? Was he physically present in Sri Lanka?

Salman is busy writing his memoir. He was supposed to come but then couldn’t make it. Though not physically present, but via encouraging emails and phone calls, he made his presence felt.

► When do you hope to release the film?

In the spring of 2012.

► What is your next project?

I am working on a film based on French artiste Henri Matisse, titled Masterpiece.




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Sharmila-Sweet
post May 19 2011, 03:11 PM
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Other side of Midnight
Roshmila Bhattacharya , Hindustan Times
Mumbai, May 18, 2011 Email to Author

First Published: 19:59 IST(18/5/2011)
Last Updated: 12:42 IST(19/5/2011)Share more...0 Comments Email print

After British production, Life Goes On, co-starring mother Sharmila Tagore, Soha Ali Khan has just wrapped up her second international project, Winds Of Change, Deepa Mehta adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. Soha, who read the Booker prize-winning novel related stories
Rushdie's Midnight's Children in secret filming
when she was in college, admits she never imagined playing a part in a film adapted by her favourite book.

A contract prevents her from unveiling her screen identity, but prod her on her favourite character from the novel and she immediately zeroes in on Emerald and Mumtaz, but is quick to add that this doesn’t mean she’s playing either.

Midnight’s Children is the story of Saleem Sinai, a 30-year-old pickle factory worker. The book starts with his grandfather’s story, and then a generation later cuts to the lives of five children in Agra in 1942 — three girls and two boys. Emerald is one of the sisters who is dating Nadir Khan, a young nationalist who after the death of his leader, Mian Abdullah code-named the Hummingbird, spends three years hiding out in the basement of Aziz’s house.

During his confinement, he falls in love and marries the middle sister, Mumtaz, who is Saleem’s mother. A jealous Emerald leaks his whereabouts to an army officer, Major Zulfikar. Khan manages to elude capture, Zulfikar marries Emerald, Mumtaz sets up home with leather merchant Ahmed Sinai, changes her name to Amina and moves to Delhi.

“Emerald is a fascinating character — young, dutiful, proud and yet insecure in so many ways. I love her for her complexities, but my personal favourite is Mumtaz/Amina. She is Saleem’s mother and a lot of what happens is viewed through her eyes,” points out Soha who as a student of history was fascinated by Rushdie’s fictionalised account of India through the 20th century.

While her brother, Saif Ali Khan, had thumbed down an offer to be part of the film because he felt he was too young to play the character offered, Soha says she would have taken up the role of a 50-year-old as a challenge. “Certain films are not so much about footage or remuneration. I had to be a part of Winds Of Change in any capacity not because it’s a big international movie, but because it’s like being part of our country’s history.”

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