Director Deepa Mehta is happy to finally present her dream film “Midnight’s Children” to Indian audiences Feb. 2013 through PVR.
“I am thrilled that the movie is releasing in India. This film is deeply personal to me. It is important that the audiences here see a book that they love come to life,” said Mehta.
Mehta has worked alongside author Salman Rushdie, who is the screenplay writer for the movie.
“Midnight’s Children” was initially screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and the International Film Festival of Kerala. Mehta says adapting Rushdie’s most famous novel was an instinctual decision, something that overwhelmed her initially.
“It is a dream come true in many ways. When I first asked Salman for the rights to the film over dinner one night, it was very much an instinctual question that arose out of the moment,” said Mehta.
Both Rushdie and the director have had their run-ins with fundamentalist elements and knowing the obstacles ahead, but Mehta said she has prepared herself.
“Before we went to shoot, I got myself into the best shape I could to shoot what I knew was going to be very physically demanding film. I got a trainer and went to the gym and even stopped smoking,” said Mehta. Shooting “Midnight’s Children” was more like an undercover operation in Sri Lanka with Mehta opting for an alias in the title “Winds of Change.”
“We shot it under the most ridiculous alias, ‘Winds of Change,’ to cover our bases and make sure we didn’t run into trouble,” said Mehta.
Metha said she tried her best to “capture the scale and spirit” of the Rushdie’s book.
“While not everything in the book could stay in the film and we focused more specifically on the Saleem’s journey, the scope is still there. Capturing the spirit of the book was important,” said Mehta.
Rushdie has been a friend of Mehta for many years and both successfully collaborated on the script for “Midnight’s Children.”
“Before he wrote the script, we asked each other what the other thought were the essential components of the book that should be in the script. Miraculously, we agreed on everything,” said Mehta.
Mehta is already gearing up for her next project “Masterpiece,” which is currently being filmed in France.
“My next film is not based on or related to India. It is a film called ‘Masterpiece,’ based on the painter Matisse and his muse. However, there are several projects in the wings that have a more distinctly Indian component,” said Mehta.