Before we jump into the short film, Birthday. I would like to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude to our nations military. These men and women fight to protect our freedom both at home and abroad, so Thank You for your Service.
Birthday a short film written, directed, edited, and produced by Chris King.
Synopsis: When a young military wife gets news that her Marine husband has been severely wounded in combat, she discovers that their life ahead is going to be an overwhelming – yet amazing – journey.
Birthday – My Review
I found this film to be very emotional and moving. The dialogue in this film is minimal, which I believe adds to the overall quality of the film itself.
The music in each scene is adds to the quality of each moment . I often find that music often says so much more than speaking. Soldier stories have always been very emotional for me personally. My brother is an Army Veteran, so I feel a bit of a connection to this film.
The film begins with a Skype session between a military wife and her Marine husband who is overseas. We learn that his tour is coming to an end and the newly married couple will soon be reunited. However, tragedy strikes at the most unexpected moment.
While out on patrol, the husband leads the way. He uses a metal detector to make sure the path is clear of land mines and IEDs.
Unfortunately, one step is all it takes to completely change his life and his wife’s. The husband did save the lives of his men behind him, but his own life would never be the same after that moment.
This film is about how a husband and wife cope and adjust their lives when the unthinkable happens. It is an emotional rollercoaster for both, but hope, strength, and love seems to help them push forward together.
Tears are bound to happen with this film, for sure.
In just over 12 minutes, Chris King is able to present us with a visual story of a Marine’s recovery after injury and how he and his wife are able to adjust to their new lives. There are a few scenes that really stood out to me while I was watching this film.
Stand Out Scenes
First, the scene where the husband takes his first steps after getting his new legs. This is an incredible moment for the character and very moving for the audience. I love the placement of the camera in this scene.
Second, there is a moment when the husband and wife finally come home after his long recovery. It also just so happens to be his birthday. The husband stands in the kitchen staring at his birthday cake and begins to cry. Both he and his wife stare into each others eyes and cry together. That is when we get a beautiful flashback of their wedding and their first dance. A truly happy moment for both characters.
*Queue the tears during this scene! This scene was really beautiful. I felt as if there was this moment of understanding between the couple. Their lives are going to be very different, but together they will make it through this. When we come back out of the flashback the husband and wife are dancing in the kitchen.
The final scene that stood out to me was a close up on the wife while she’s watch her husband at the end of the film.
That look on her face expresses true happiness. Clearly, she is very proud of how far her husband has come since he was injured and she is happy with where their life together is in that moment.
All in all, Chris King did a spectacular job on this short film. I really enjoyed watching it.
Birthday has been sweeping the awards boards. The multitude of awards include being selected for 8 Oscar qualifying film festivals, winning two Best Director Awards, seven Best Actor Awards, three Best Editing Awards, 12 Best Short Film Audience Awards, 22 Jury Awards and more!
Cast & Director Background
Chris King is a multiple award-winning filmmaker. Touching Down, his debut feature film, received numerous film festival awards and nominations. His subsequent short films have played at over 200 film festivals, seen in over 140 cities in 90 countries, and have played internationally through the ShortsHD Channel.
Birthday, Rachel and The Killing of Mary Surratt are his most successful short films to date, winning countless awards and critical acclaim for their powerful subject matter that are based on true stories. King was inspired to write and direct Birthday after becoming friends with a Marine who was severely injured after throwing himself on a grenade.
Mandy Moody (Wife) began her career in musical theatre and starred in well-known productions such as Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, A Wonderful Life, and 42nd Street. This talented young actress guest-starred on Joe Dante’s directed episode of Hawaii Five-O, and has been garnering rave reviews for her performance in Birthday since its first screening.
Chris Gouche’s (Marine) acting break was in the Oscar-Nominated David Fincher film, The Social Network. Chris played as The Moon in José Rivera’s References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot and as Picasso in Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Back on the big screen, his most recent role was in Columbia Pictures’ Kitchen Sink.
For more information about this short film visit their website -> http://www.birthdayshortfilm.com/
Check out Chris King on IMDB
*Cast & Director information and the film stills were provided by London Flair PR.