“HAPPY BIRTHDAY”–simply interesting

“Happy Birthday”

Simply Interesting

Amos Lassen

For a debut film, Yen Tan’s “Happy Birthday” is provocative but with flaws. It is composed of a shifting narrative which centers on five gay/lesbian characters who all share a common birthday. The film looks at the darkest issues that each character deals with. There are so

me excellent performances here and the story s both diverse and detailed, totally real and a powerful attempt t show us something deeper than the typical shallow themes we have had to deal with.

Underlying the film are the sub themes of self-esteem and self-hatred, cultural clashes with religious and ethnic differences, how we see our bodies as well as gay immigrants. The actors often perform self-examination with an intensity that is in no way subtle. This makes the film appear t be something of a soap opera.

Honesty is the key word here—the characters are totally believable. The five stories that are presented are usual in context but moving nonetheless. The movie is not optimistic in any way and only one of the five character’s story shows any promise of resolution. None of the five have a happy ending. The music also adds to the mood—it is beautiful but full of sorrow.

I totally could identify with the movie. It made me remember wasted chances ad how things have turned out in my life. Events seem to determine the course our lives take. What director Yen Tan gives us is a thoughtful look into what makes up the homosexual psyche.

The usual clichés and stereotypes are there but the feelings of the amateur cast are all real. I found myself cheering for the characters as they went through some rough periods and I shared their sadness as well.

I actually felt that I was watching three days in the lives of five different people. Watching real life is never easy and watching the actors here was a very real experience.

Simply beautiful and very interesting is a movie that we all should see and think about. Watching the actors inspect themselves causes us to do the same and there could be a reward in that.

  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: