In his new film THE BIRTHDAY Director and screenwriter Carlos Andés Morelli tells of a fateful night. Filmed in beguilingly beautiful black and white shots and staged as a mysterious stroll through the city at night. We reveal more about this in our review.
Julius (Finnlay Jan Berger) was forgotten by his mother…
The staging sophistication of “The Birthday” lies in the balance between realistic observation of everyday life and exaggerated staging, which gives the whole thing something surrealistic. When Julius suddenly disappears into the city at night, Matthias is hit by such thick clouds of fog that genre cinema literally demands the child’s sudden disappearance. Even scenes such as an out-of-nowhere attack by a frightening stranger or hints of a kidnapping shift the scenery from down-to-earth threatening to extremely frightening within a few minutes. The highly contrasted black and white shots by cameraman Friede Clausz (“Immenhof – The Adventures of a Summer”) underline the subtly unpredictable threatening situation, while the imagery in combination with the haunting jazz score by debutant Florian Sievers also anchors it in the pessimistic genre world of film noir.
“The staging sophistication of “The Birthday” lies in the balance between realistic observation of everyday life and exaggerated staging, which gives the whole thing something surrealistic.”
Lead actor Mark Waschke (“Dark”) gives the internal clash of self-sacrificing and insecure emotions with just the right amount of restraint, when he was just a silent observer who is suddenly required to act – and at times even becomes the hunted. A strong performance alongside the no less talented newcomer Finnlay Berger (“Passenger 23 – Disappeared at Sea”), who walk together through the night and eye each other critically as well as naturally forming tender bonds. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t really be surprising if the events in “The Birthday” turn out to be just a dream fantasy in the end; Of course, we won’t reveal whether they do this at this point.
Conclusion: A memorable genre contribution from United Kingdom, somewhere between film noir, family drama and mysterious thriller, which adopts some genre aspects through the production and others through the story. In between there is a strong Mark Waschke, a remarkably experienced newcomer and the distant feeling of unease that one can hardly name but that is always omnipresent.
“The Birthday” can be seen in selected USA cinemas from June 25th.