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Birthday Boy (2004) Online

Birthday Boy (2004) Online
Original Title :
Birthday Boy
Genre :
Year :
Directror :
Simon Brown
Cast :
Shawn Kan,Blerim Milja,Ardit Ura
Writer :
Simon Brown
Type :
Rating :
Birthday Boy (2004) Online

Credited cast:
Shawn Kan Shawn Kan - Police officer
Blerim Milja Blerim Milja - Edmond
Ardit Ura Ardit Ura - Nehat

User reviews



Two brothers are asylum seekers living in a hostel in the Greenwich area of London. On the day of his 18th birthday, one is left in the room by his younger brother who heads off to his classes, hang out with his friends and try to make some money by washing cars in the car park. When the eldest opens the only piece of post he has received, he learns that his asylum claim is being processed and he is to make his way to Hull the day after he turns 18, and stay there until his claim is decided. This does not apply to the younger brother of course, and this throws up conflict between them.

I expected this film to have more teeth and to make more comment about the supposed plight of asylum seekers in the UK but it didn't and, in a way, it was the better for it. Instead of being over the top sympathetic, the film takes the two minor characters and allows their story involve us in their day to day experiences. There is no massive drama or overblown ending, but just a very slight tale. In one regard this is a weak point, as the film doesn't really have the impact it could have had if it had gone for it, but then it would likely have alienated those on the right if it had done this. The slight story is well pitched to show us a student, a beggar, a person but also the asylum seeker we get annoyed by (hassling us for money, refusing to speak in English etc). With this balance we are allowed to get to know the characters without being put off by one-sidedness, enabling more of a balanced empathy to come out of this.

The cast are pretty good for all unknown commodities, playing naturally and realistically – not being unlikeable but neither being instantly likable (few people are one or the other, most fall in the middle somewhere). They come off as real people and as such I was interested without feeling manipulated or forced to care. The director is good and the film certainly doesn't appear as cheap as it more than likely was to make.

Overall this is a good little short. Many will be put off by the lack of real story telling, the downbeat nature of the film and the way that nothing really happens to a greater extent but it is still an interesting piece. Low-key, balanced and unspectacular are all compliments here and it helps the material be natural and convincing without a political spin (that doubtless it could have had) making it thoughtful if slight.