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Rediff.com  » Movies » PIX: The Who's Who in Deepa Mehta's Midnight's Children

PIX: The Who's Who in Deepa Mehta's Midnight's Children

Last updated on: July 27, 2012 13:33 IST

Image: Sathya Bhabha as Saleem Sinai

As Deepa Mehta's screen adaptation of Saman Rushdie's iconic Booker-winning novel Midnight's Children gets ready to be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, we introduce you to the central characters in the film.

Take a look.

Sathya Bhabha as Saleem Sinai

British-born Indian actor Sathya Bhabha plays the protagonist Saleem Sinai in the film.

Born to Harvard professor parents, Bhabha pursued a career on stage in New York and London and starred in several indie films before he landed the lead role.

Before work on the movie began, he moved in to his ancestral home in Mumbai -- the city where the novel is set -- to prepare for his role.

Saleem is born exactly at midnight, August 15, 1947, the moment when India gained her Independence, and is therefore, one of midnight's children.

Soha Ali Khan

Image: Soha Ali Khan as Jamila

Actress Soha Ali Khan plays Saleem Sinai's sister Jamila (initially known as Brass Monkey in the novel) in the film.

Jamila grows up to become a famous singer.

Shabana Azmi

Image: Shabana Azmi as Naseem

Shabana Azmi plays Naseem, Saleem Sinai's grandmother and Dr Aadam Aziz's (played by Rajat Kapoor) wife. Their daughter Mumtaz (played by Shahana Goswami) is Saleem's mother.

She is a very strong-willed character.

Shahana Goswami

Image: Shahana Goswami as Mumtaz/Amina

Actress Shahana Goswami, who will also be seen in Kareena Kapoor-starrer Heroine, plays Saleem Sinai and Jamila's mother Mumtaz/Amina in the film.

Rahul Bose and Anita Majumdar

Image: Rahul Bose as General Zulfikar and Anita Majumdar as Emerald

Canadian actress and playwright Anita Majumdar will be seen in the role of Emerald, Mumtaz's pretty sister.

She marries General Zulfikar (Rahul Bose) later, and becomes Saleem/ Jamila's maternal aunt.

The film's official website describes her performance as the self-centred and ambitious Emerald 'a skillfully controlled balance of wit, high spirits, and pure indulgence.'

Kulbhushan Kharbanda

Image: Kulbhushan Kharbanda as the snake-charmer

Veteran character actor Kulbhushnan Kharbanda plays the snake-charmer, who brings Saleem Sinai back to life in the novel.

For someone who's terrified of snakes, Kharbanda has reportedly made his scenes with cobras appear remarkably effortless.

Seema Biswas

Image: Seema Biswas as Mary Perreira

Acclaimed Indian actress Seema Biswas plays Mary Perriera, Salim Sinai's nanny and a nurse at the maternity hospital.

Vinay Pathak and Ranvir Shorey

Image: Vinay Pathak and Ranvir Shorey

Actors and real life friends Vinay Pathak and Ranvir Shorey play Salim's tormentors in the film.

According to director Deepa Mehta, Salman Rushdie has dubbed the duo Laurel and Hardy.

Shriya Saran

Image: Shriya Saran as Parvati

Southern actress Shriya Saran plays Parvati, the 'witch' in the film.

A midnight's child, Parvati is born seven seconds after midnight in the novel. She later marries Saleem.

Shriya, who prepared for her role by learning many magician's secrets, stories, and tricks has already impressed Rushdie with her performance.

Samrat Chakraborti

Image: Samrat Chakraborti as Willie Wonki

British-American actor and musician of Indian descent, Samrat Chakraborti plays Willie Wonki, a beggar and street entertainer who sings and plays the accordion in the film.

 

Charles Dance

Image: Charles Dance as William Methwold

British actor Charles Dance plays William Methwold, owner of the Buckingham Villa.

The character is described as 'a relict and leftover of the Raj, reluctant to give up a teaspoon of British control.'

Dance has essayed the role with a lethal emotional precision, according to the film's official website.

Rajat Kapoor

Image: Rajat Kapoor as Aadam Aziz

Actor and filmmaker Rajat Kapoor plays Aadam Aziz, Saleem Sinai's maternal grandfather in the film.

He's Mumtaz, Emerald and their sister Alia's father.

Mehta had posted Kapoor's picture on Twitter and wrote, '@mrrajatkapoor as the wise, gentle humanitarian Dr. Aziz. Rajat fully embodies the character. Jaw-dropping performance.'

Ronit Roy

Image: Ronit Roy as Ahmed Sinai

Television and film actor Ronit Roy plays Ahmed Sinai, Saleem's father and Mumtaz's second husband.

 

Siddharth

Image: Siddharth as Shiva

Siddharth plays Shiva, Saleem's nemesis and a midnight child, who was born right at midnight like Saleem.