Cast: Sanjay Suri, Nora Fatehi, Zenia Starr, Pitobash Tripathi, Ayaz Khan
Director: Samir Soni
You might think of the film My Birthday Song as every unfaithful husband’s worst nightmare. It’s an intriguing tale of temptation and the price one might pay for succumbing to it. So it’s as much a cautionary tale as it is a thriller that messes with your head.
When the film opens, we’re at the 40th birthday party of advertising hotshot Rajiv Kaul (Sanjay Suri). A beautiful, mysterious woman (Nora Fatehi) stands out in the room full of revelers, and with his wife away Rajiv doesn’t hold back when the opportunity presents itself. Things, however, take a turn for the tragic soon after they move to the bedroom.
But the next morning, everything appears to be in order. There are no signs of what transpired earlier, and Rajiv is puzzled. Could it have just been a bad dream? Perhaps. Except that this cycle repeats itself. Another encounter with the same woman, another tragic accident.
Directed by actor Samir Soni, My Birthday Song delivers twist upon twist, keeping you intrigued for the entirety of its duration. The script (by Soni and Vrushali Telang) flirts with themes of infidelity, guilt, and the consequences of one’s actions, but just when you think you have it figured out, the rug is pulled from under your feet to reveal another layer.
Still it’s no watertight psychological thriller because the treatment betrays the rawness of a first film. Every move, every prophetic dialogue is delivered with the flourish of a big reveal, and the acting, sadly, is not up to the mark.
But to give credit where it’s due the script does take some bold leaps. There are echoes of David Fincher’s The Game, and the repetitive nature of the key incident harks to Groundhog Day. Yet this is nothing like those movies.
Wrapping up its business in a brisk 95 minutes, My Birthday Song kept me guessing until the end. It’s not a perfect film, but there’s enough to merit a single watch. I’m going with two-and-a-half out of five.