Salman Rushdie adapted his own 1981 novel into this British-Canadian drama, about a family in northern India whose experience of the 20th century mirrors that of the region. This is Rushdie's first screenplay, and unfortunately he stumbles into the most familiar trap of big-screen literary adaptations, trying to cram in as many significant scenes from the book as possible rather than reimagining the story in cinematic form. Though a fine chronicler of Indian life, director Deepa Mehta (Earth, Water) doesn't have much of a feel for Rushdie's magic realism or epic scope. The movie registers as a collection of moments, ranging from poignant to flat-footed. In English and subtitled Hindi and Urdu.
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