Chintu Ka Birthday
Cast: Vinay Pathak, Tillotama Shome, Seema Pahwa
Directors: Devanshu Singh, Satyanshu Singh
How challenging can it be for a middle-class couple to throw a birthday party for their child? All you need is a bit of tinsel and cake. For six-year-old Chintu, stuck in war-torn Iraq with his family, a party is a distant dream. He was unable to celebrate his birthday last year and his family has promised him double the fun this year — they will ensure Chintu will get the birthday party he deserves. But George W Bush has other plans. Chintu Ka Birthday, in the making for almost a decade now, turns out to be a bite of sugary goodness we have all been looking for during this lockdown. The sweet and simple story of a child’s birthday party is a celebration of fatherhood; an ode to a parent for whom his child’s happiness is of utmost importance. The film also touches upon the lives of those living under restrictions and looking for happiness within the four walls.
Watch Chintu Ka Birthday trailer here
Chintu, the cutest kid on the block, lives with his family of 5 that moved to Iraq illegally in search of a better life. The one hour twenty minute-film documents what happens on his sixth birthday, which may not be significant in the larger scheme of things but is no less than a dream for his family. Things, alas do not go as per plan as their biggest occasion of the year is crashed by some uninvited party poopers who not just spoil their party but could even destroy their lives. The doting father (Vinay Pathak) and family do not disappoint as they deal with a situation to bring a smile on the child’s face.
The Zee 5 original wins hearts in more ways than one and this is what makes it a winner among the bustling OTT scene. The story about a child’s birthday party is layered with details — it talks about American soldiers stuck in Iraq for years during the war, it showcases how illegal immigration destroys lives and it wonders about inherent ‘goodness and badness’ of human beings.
Tillotama Shome in a still from Chintu Ka Birthday.
Vinay Pathak is fantastic as a father who is battling with guilt but is hell bent on giving his son a birthday of his dreams. He is joined by equally brilliant actor Tillotama Shome, who continues to surprise us with the variation she brings to her work. After playing a foul-mouthed mom who knows how to deal with her ill-mannered sons in web show Mentalhood, also on Zee5 in collaboration with AltBalaji, Tillotama surprises yet again as a homemaker and a mother of two. She brings so much honesty to the role that you forget she is just a 31-year-old, an age at which actors are highly conscious of keeping away from ‘mother’s roles’. The entire family of five appears to be a bundle of talent as Seema Pahwa again brings out the best in her as the nagging mother-in-law.
A still from Chintu Ka Birthday.
Chintu Ka Birthday proves yet again how intelligent writing is the key to a successful project. The way a 6-year-old Chintu tells the story of Saddam Hussein’s downfall in 2004’s Iraq in layman’s language brings so much freshness to the screen. The duty of a family to deal with a tough situation as a whole signifies the importance of loved ones who can make any trouble look small when the burden is shared by everyone.
It seems Zee5 is finally making some wise moves in terms of picking quality content. After Kaafir and State of Siege, this one is going to give a power boost to the OTT platform.
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