It's 1947 and the borderlines between India and Pakistan are being drawn. A young girl witnesses tragedy as her ayah (nanny) is caught between the love of two men and the rising tide of political and religious violence.
Set in colonial India against Gandhi's rise to power, it's the story of 8-year-old Chuyia, who is widowed and sent to a home to live in penitence; once there, Chuyia's feisty presence deeply affects the lives of the other residents.
A story of love and enchantment set in the coldest of winters, it explores the issues, dilemmas and barriers facing the lucky and unlucky in love in the 21st Century, based on the novel of ... See full summary »
The inspiration for the parable of this movie seems to be the fact that Indira Ghandi was advised by an astrologer that people born on the night when India gained independence from Great Britain are dangerous to her. This caused persecution of many of them by some of them. The contact with astrologer and these consequences are a serious accusation directed to IG and that should not be brought up unless it is supportable by facts. The movie is difficult to watch since there is quite much of brutality and of unacceptable behaviour. This is an image of a world in which a human individual is almost meaningless. The fate of the people born on that day is simply a carrier for bitter accusations. Psychically ill people are treated with brutality and mostly without understanding. Many men shown in the movie are anti-heroes (when a boy says to his parents that he hears voices in his head he gets punched, another day a teacher humiliates him and pulls out a bunch of hair from his scalp). It is hard not to have compassion for these desperate people, and it is heart- breaking to see their sufferings. It is even more depressing to realize that all that was inflicted by themselves. Men in this movie are mostly a bit crazy or criminal or have marginal influence on the message of this story. However women are shown in much better light. They love and are less violent. The only one crazy between them is IG. The movie contains an insult addressed at IG. It is constructed in this way: one of characters has symptoms of schizophrenia and he notices that he can control the voices in his head by blowing his nose. Later he has a night dream in which a woman looking like IG blows her nose and blood appears on her handkerchief. The interpretation is clear: IG was crazy like schizophrenics, and the useless persecutions were a result of hallucinations. IG was in power quite long time and of that only one her deed is pulled out and then an insult is levelled at her. I do not want to defend her, for I am ignorant of history of India, but I bet the image of her is very skewed in this movie. This casts an unpleasant shadow on the rest of the movie that begins in colonial palaces and ends in slums of free India. Is this a reasonable image of the 55 years of independence of India? I doubt, the summary must be brighter than that. I share with Rushdie his disapproval of brutality and wars, however if one wanted to criticize just that then this should be somehow balanced by something positive. This movie is a venomous political satire and is scary to watch. I am afraid that the artistic duo will get death threats. Their view of Indian independence is a bit one-sided. However if the image they project is true then it is a sad prophecy addressed to all countries that want to be free of various oppressors or oppressive ideologies. This is a sad prophecy for Arab countries. An "exception" my be Syria, where they begun from mayhem instead to administer it in small doses, like in IG's prisons. The best way to enjoy this movie is not to understand it. This movie does not provide for the viewer to escape the desperation of the Authors. However I liked the music. I bet that $1 Rushdie received for the film rights is a gross overpayment. What is the point to invest so much money and good work into something so depressing? who will pay for seeing gradually more and more dense desperation?
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