chintu ka birthday
It was a week and a half back that while scrolling through a few youtube videos, I came across the trailer of Chintu Ka Birthday on Tanmay Bhat’s channel. On any other day, I would have skipped it but what caught my fancy was that Tanmay Bhat had shared a movie trailer(I later learnt that he was a co producer). Intriguing! And I decided to watch it and boom! The trailer was so much more than I had expected it to be. And so I had to patiently wait for it to release this weekend. Was it worth my time…stay tuned!
Set in 2004 during the Iraq war, Chintu Ka Birthday follows the story of Chinu, the youngest member of an Indian family residing, wanting to celebrate his 6th birthday. This until everything possible goes wrong around him. Will he eventually be able to cut his birthday cake? The story is simple but it is the premise that instantly catches your attention. The screenplay is heart warming and extremely well written. It is engaging, edge of the seat stuff yet it gently tugs away the strings of your heart. The ending is a little underwhelming for my liking and could have done with a little more drama but in its entirety it is one helluva roller coaster which will make you laugh and cry with a lump in your throat at the end. It just shows how much you could work with, using a simple premise like this! The dialogues are relatable. Directors Devanshu Kumar and Satyanshu Singh have done an impeccable job handling a sensitive subject yet not losing its basic theme in the process.
The performances are the highlight and I will be naming every single one of them, for they all deserve a rousing applause. Nate Scholz as Reed and Reginald L Barnes as Jackson, the 2 US soldiers, are terrifying and really shift the gears of the film. Khaled Masso as Mahndi, the house landlord is such an endearing character and his cameo says so much of the person he is and his own journey. Mehroos Mir as Waheed and Amina Afroz as Zainab the two little friends of Chintu are like poles apart yet both are fabulous to watch! Bisha Chaturvedi as Lakshmi, the elder and matured sister of Chintu, is such a natural onscreen and has a bright future ahead of her. Vedant Chibbar as Chintu is so cute and you really feel for him when he is sad. Seema Pahwa is a veteran and here too she shines as Chintu’s Nani. Tillotama Shome is so underrated and if you want to know what a good actress she is, then you have to watch her emote here as Chintu’s mother. And as Chintu’s Father, Vinay Pathak delivers a heart wrenching yet heart warming performance. His performance just melts your heart as the father who is willing to sacrifice himself just to see his child happy in his birthday!
Chintu ka Birthday was in the cans for three years and finally having seen the light of the day, it is one of the most honest and heartfelt movies that I have watched this quarantine season. So simple yet so effective, this movie deserves a standing ovation. Available on Zee5 and Highly Highly Recommended!
PS : The movie has a faint Iranian influence to it, if you do follow Majid Majidi’s movies or Iranian cinema! Subtle!