My Birthday Song Review

“My Birthday Song” starring Sanjay Suri (right) is a psychological thriller that holds you virtually every second until well past the interval. (photo provided)

Produced by: Sanjay Suri & Samir Soni

Directed by: Samir Soni

Written by: Samir Soni & Vrushali Telang

Music: Joi Barua, Raajeev Bhalla, Ajay Govind, Nitin Krishna Menon &

Pawan Rasaily

Starring: Sanjay Suri, Nora Fatehi, Zenia Starr, Elena Kazan, Suparna Krishna, Pitobash, Sameer Sharma & others

MUMBAI—As thrillers go, this 95-minute psychological thriller holds you virtually every second until well past the interval. It opens with the protagonist Rajeev (Sanjay Suri) visiting a psychiatrist, and we get the story of how his 40th birthday party saw him have a fling with an attractive lady, Sandy (Nora Fatehi), who came along with his friend (Sameer Sharma) for his party. Rajeev feels he has met her somewhere, and his curiosity is irked when she tells him, “You have not changed!” Rajeev’s wife (Zenia Starr) is away as her grandmother is ill.

However, midway during their lovemaking, Sandy, who has seen a bedside photograph, urgently asks him to stop, and in the process, she falls and hurts herself fatally. Panic-stricken, Rajeev drinks himself into a stupor.

However, when he awakes the next day, he finds that it was all a terrible dream and that his birthday party will happen that night! But as the new day goes by, he finds that everything he saw in the nightmare is coming true! And he also remembers who Sandy is – girl with whom he had made out years ago when she was much younger.

A mentally besieged Rajeev goes to meet Sandy at her hotel after his friend confirms he is bringing her along (as per the dream!). He wants to request her not to come for the party. This time, Sandy dies in a freak mishap in her hotel room, and Sandy manages to escape undetected. But when he reaches home, Sandy and all the other guests are there, and so is his wife, who was away!

What happens next? And what is the connection with the shrink? And what is real? And what are the hallucinations – and why?

Sadly, where the film gets completely skewed (which it need not have, given the core of the plot), is in the denouement it chooses to offer. In one shot, a distasteful and totally unacceptable one to the Indian audience (no spoilers, but a clue lies above!), writer-director Samir Soni destroys his otherwise well-structured, very gripping and well-cast film.

And so all his own efforts, and that of his team – of the cameraman (Shubham Kasera) in particular, go completely down the drain. Technically, everything is good, but again it is all a waste. The songs, however, do not even register.

Arguably, this is Suri’s finest and grittiest performance, and he is ably supported by Nora Fatehi as Sandy. The girl is brilliant in her rather simple yet sensuous role, and her eyes speak volumes – as a package, she is an asset to Hindi cinema and deserves better breaks. Zenia Starr as the star(r)-crossed wife of Rajeev is good in the later parts of the film. Pitobash (expectedly) and Sameer Sharma make an impression.

All we can conclude that the tribe of filmmakers with a complete disconnect with Indian audiences is alarmingly on the increase – and some of them can be really good storytellers if they choose the right subject, not necessarily the mainstream commercial. Soni deserves to exploit his métier and not waste his time in such w fake evolution as a filmmaker.

Rating: ** (Just About)

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