It’s a lofty task to create a movie from a novel, and Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children, even at two and a half hours, doesn’t feel complete, despite novelist Salman Rushdie penning the screenplay himself. Two boys born on at midnight on the eve of India’s independence are switched at birth: one poor, the other rich. All of midnight’s children can communicate telepathically—but this magical realism is awkward on screen, perhaps better left to imagination. Though the child actors are skilled, the movie takes a turn when these kids are swapped for their adult counterparts (Satya Bhabha as wealthy Saleem and Siddharth Narayam as poor Shiva). Mehta’s adaptation begins as a promising movie with a beautiful story to tell, but gets bogged down with too many subplots; as it is, it’s hard to maintain a connection with the narrator, Saleem.