Birthday in the time of War

The once beautiful Iraq, now ravaged by war, is where all the events in the film Chintu Ka Birthday happen. Chintu, a little boy brought up in Iraq, is trying to celebrate his 6th birthday and things don’t go well as planned. The film is set in Iraq and the director uses animation to describe how the family moved to Baghdad from Bihar when he was little. Their landlord is an affectionate Iraqi man who hopes to find his wife one day in the war-torn country. While Chintu’s family decorates the place to welcome Chintu’s friends from school, an accident happens, that makes Chintu’s 6th birthday a day that he wouldn’t wish to remember at all.

Putting all the political angles aside, we all can relate to the movie. Especially during this pandemic of COVID-19, where almost everyone, is feeling depressed and finding it a reason to be unhappy. This movie will show you how you can be happy even in the middle of a war, and two soldiers at your home, waiting for your child to cut his cake so they can take you away.

As an Arabic speaker, personally I didn’t imagine that Chintu and his sister would speak in Arabic in some parts of the movie, but it is realistic, as Chintu has raised up in Iraq. The part that pushed me to laugh is when Iraqi boy and girl reach Chintu’s place and introduce themselves as “Best friend” and “Girlfriend”. Cute! Mahdi, the landlord of the house that Chintu’s family stay in, is a close friend to the family, he always comes to visit them, and he drove for a long distance just to be with Chintu on his birthday.

Actor Vinay Pathak’s character surprises us with his kindness and wisdom in dealing with the difficult situation. His performance tugs at your heart as you see his insistence on making his son happy on his birthday despite everything. Tilottama Shome who plays his wife adds to the compassionate climate with a touch of feminine gentleness. The folk song she and her mother (played by the brilliant Seema Pahwa) is an endearing moment in the film. References to mythology and wisdom, the spirit of treating your guest as equal to God are some of the highlights of the film. A must watch.

The movie will be available in the Middle East on Zee 5

You can also watch the interview of Vinay Pathak with Manju Ramanan.






Directed by: Satyanshu Singh and Devanshu Kumar

Cast: Vinay Pathak, Tillotama Shome, Vedant Chibber, Khalid Massou, Bisha Chaturvedi, Seema Pahwa

Rating: 4/5


Hanan Yehia Mulazem


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