My Birthday Song movie review: Has its moments of density among abruptions


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Directed By: Samir Soni
Produced By: Samir Soni, Sanjay Suri
Cast: Nora Fatehi, Sanjay Suri, Zenia Starr, Ayaz Khan
Duration: 1 Hours 36 Minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 2.5/5

‘My Birthday Song’. That’s a bit too poetic for a psychological thriller. As if, a little less rasping. As if a bit mellifluous. Albeit, it gives hints of a birthday going eventful, probably in the wrong way.

Actor Samir Soni delves into making films with this one and opts for a genre that’s not yet prevalent in mainstream Hindi films. Does he succeed? Yes, and no.

Rajiv Kaul (Sanjay Suri), an ad-man with a neat house, a beautiful wife and two happy children, is like how those happy men in TV ads look. His postcard-ish life, however, is in for a hurricane one night. As he rings in his 40th birthday with a cosy party sans his wife at his residence, he meets Sandy (Nora Fatehi). And a romantic hiccup is assumed.

“Do you cheat?”, whispers Sandy. “Depends on whether it’s worth cheating for,” smiles Rajiv. I am smirking as they make out through a chain of sequences, actually beautiful to look at. A minute later. Sandy lies in a pool of blood, dead. Boom.

There begins the story. Rajiv wakes up on his birthday, to a cleanly done room with no blood and no trace of Sandy and thinks of it as a bad dream. But every tiny thing that he saw in his ‘dream’, starts coming true. And oh, the birthday party is tonight. Hence, the misfortune is supposed to happen tonight too!

Through the next hour, We’ve Rajiv running around like a possessed person, trying to set things right as if he has foreseen the future. Does he? Does he not?

Before we start analysing, ‘My Birthday Song’ had the ingredients of becoming so much more than what it is. It is a technically strong film with a potentially powerful story. Soni, who can’t escape glitches here and there, came up with a decent first attempt. At one point, the tense gets dense, and we start wondering if the characters we are witnessing are at all there, or are surreal. But surrealism is where it goes wrong as well.

After a few shifts between reality and surrealism, the thin line disappears and it is difficult to figure out which course is it following. Probably to make it psychologically tickling, Soni has added elements of hallucination, which is justified. But it is also necessary to place hallucinatory events in a way that they don’t disrupt a story’s rationality. Here, that happens.

Since the film majorly banks upon its events and not the number of characters, it is mostly shouldered on Sanjay. The intention was probably to allow us to sync in the uncertainity. But it results in the film losing pace.

Barring that, ‘My Birthday Song’ has its moments of cinematic expertise. Sanjay Suri is a delight to watch and Nora Fatehi is decent in her shoes. Australian beauty Queen Zenia Starr steps into Bollywood with this one, and will probably stay. I also like how the director’s approach is to move the viewers with subtlety. And I admit, it brings end with a climax I had never even imagined.

To watch or not? The call is yours.

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