When it comes to Deepa Mehta’s films, there is a special attention that has to be made to them. Whether it is a negative one or positive, Mehta and her movies always grab the attention of even the common man. So when the award-winning director announces a film adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight Children, all ears and eyes are ready and waiting to lap up news. Add in that the casting issues which began early 2010, which saw Imran Khan, Rani Mukerji, Kangna Ranaut, Irrfan Khan and Nandita Das all back out from the project for varying reasons and the drama although a little quieter than her Element Trilogy, was surely in sight.
Based on the 1981 Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize winning novel by Salman Rushdie, Deepa’s adaptation of Midnight Children, titled Winds of Change, is what Deepa herself calls “my biggest film yet” and is written by Salman himself. While most feared clashes between the writer and the director, Deepa made it clear, while speaking to Times of India, that her position was director and that there were no issues. On the other hand, keeping her own and Salman’s past controversies in mind, the producers, which include Deepa’s husband Canadian film producer David Hamilton, have been tight-lipped about the shooting thus far. What’s more, Mehta further stated that Sri Lanka suited the period that the film was set in. However, casting problems aside and news of Deepa Mehta silently completing the shoot in Sri Lanka, another round of interest has been sparked.
The film stars British actor Satya Bhabha in his debut in the role based on Saleem Sinai, the protagonist in the novel which is about the life story of a man born at midnight during the independence of India with special powers and his discovery of others like him. The cast itself is phenomenal and worth looking out for, it boasts of super talents like Seema Biswas, Shabana Azmi and Rahul Bose, along with Siddharth, Soha Ali Khan, Ronit Roy, Shriya Saran and Shahana Goswami.
The actors in the film have nothing but praise to speak of the controversial director and about the film. “She is intensely emotional, while at the same time cold almost to the point of clinical in terms of getting what she wants” said Siddharth to the Globe and Mail and continues “She makes you want to be a better performer and a better technician.” Soha Ali Khan said to the Hindustan Times, “One of the most admired film makers who handles delicate situations, understandings and human relationships in her own sensuous way” when speaking about Deepa.
From the assembled cast and the basis of the story it seems Deepa Mehta’s film has the makings to leave everyone gobsmacked.
Have a look at some stills from the sets