Chintu Ka Birthday
Director: Devanshu Kumar and Satyanshu Singh
Cast: Vinay Pathak, Seema Pahwa, Vedant Chibber, Tillotama Shome
A suggestion – check out Chintu Ka Birthday without watching the trailer. It’s the story of a family, who lives in Iraq, that wishes to celebrate the birthday of its youngest member, the eponymous character in question. You would expect a happy, heartfelt portrayal of such a narrative. It’s anything but! The year is 2004, the conflict between Iraq and America has escalated. Saddam Hussein reigns supreme and the whole country worships him like their almighty.
In a charming and animated flashback, narrated by Chintu himself (a lovely Vedant Chibber), we get to know how his father, Vinay Pathak, as terrific as ever, migrated to Iraq from Delhi. They couldn’t celebrate Chintu’s birthday in 2003 since the tension between the two countries led to bloodshed and brutality. In 2004, they promise he would smile on the occasion. This is a family that would go to any lengths to fulfil his wishes.
Tragedy strikes when a shocking incident threatens to demolish their near-perfect birthday party. It’s now time for them to stand in unity and split open their vulnerability. Think of Raja Krishna Menon’s Airlift, the 2016 film that dealt with similar themes of scare and survival. Chintu Ka Birthday may be smaller in canvas and craftsmanship but conveys the idea of horror and hope equally convincingly. It’s also fueled by believable performances.
Watch the trailer of Chintu Ka Birthday right here:
Pathak is a fine actor and here he plays Chintu’a father Madan Tiwary. In one scene, he goes on to explain the meaning of the names of all the house members to two uninvited guests. Even in such a frightening situation, he has a smile on his face. The film is about basic inherent goodness, what we usually see missing in our films. Writers and directors Devanshu Kumar and Satyanshu Singh nicely blend the hope of a family with the horror of the country they reside in.
Chintu Ka Birthday is only 77 minutes long and is shot entirely in the Tiwary residence, which further adds to the tension. It’s hard to tell how this all will culminate, but when it does, you feel a sense of positivity that even when the world is filled with horror, there’s still some hope and humanity left.
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