Monday, January 22, 2018

My Birthday Song 

Confusion Confounded

There’s unseasonal rain in Delhi, a successful adman is celebrating his fortieth birthday.  His wife is away, a pretty woman keeps eyeing him, and makes an excuse to stay on when other guests have left.  The man has no qualms about a roll in bed with a consensual partner. The evening ends in a shock for him, but things are not what they seem. 
Actor Samir Soni has written, co-produced and directed My Birthday Song,attempting a ‘psychological thriller’ that is beyond his capabilities as a newbie director, and beyond the acting skills of his cast; since Suri is in every frame, that is a problem.  A plot like this has to be convincing even in its realm of illogicality or alternate reality – Groundhog Day is a fine example. 
Anyway, when Rajiv Kaul (Sanjay Suri) wakes up the next day, everybody is wishing him a happy birthday and there is no sign of the party or the incident of the previous evening, but things that were said then, seem to be coming true.  It would spook anyone, and Rajiv is baffled when the shocking event seems to recur. 
The script bungs in many inexplicable happenings, but doesn’t go anywhere. When the ‘aha’ moment comes, it is too late, and too implausible. If the director is tying himself up in knots, at least the pace should be so brisk that the audience doesn’t get a chance to think; but a lot of the film’s run time has Kaul run around with a bewildered expression or drive around maniacally; every scene goes on for much too long and is accompanied by an obtrusive soundtrack. 
The best thing that could be said about My Birthday Song is that at least the first-time director did not pander to commercial demands and made the kind of film he wanted to.  


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