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Happy Birthday, Mummyji (Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Film)

Happy Birthday, Mummyji

Written &  Directed  by Shefali Shah

Rating: ***

Happy Birthday, Mummyji Review: Shefali Shah is  an exciting  actress  to watch. No matter how  well you think you know her character, she and it  always surprises you. Watching her turn  a  director in this very brief  but  original and  sparkling film is reassuring.

Some actors  never disappoint. Shefali is  one  of them. Happy  Birthday, Mummyji is  not her directorial debut. She has earlier directed another short-film Someday which   I haven’t  seen. The one  out on the public domain is a  one-woman show. In  every sense. Shefali  not only writes and directs, she  also stars in a film about  the other, less menacing more playful side  of  the  Lockdown.

 Without giving away  the plot , let’s   just say Shefali  plays  an over-burdened  wife, mother and daughter-in-law whose elaborate  birthday  plans, from flowers  to catering,   for the family’s matriarch goes for a toss when  a lockdown is suddenly announced. Rather than  mope  grieve and  sulk  she  takes matters in her own hands and  has herself a  roaring blast.

The direction is  light to the touch, breezy and  wispy. Shefali has an instinctive understanding of a  woman’s need for me-time. And that’s the core of  the  plot.  Not preachy or  condescending ,  but definitely   a bit hostile  to the male(we  only hear  her husband’s gruff uncaring  voice on the phone)  Happy Birthday, Mummyji, stealthily  removes  the  ‘Birthday’   plan and  turns the  rather bleak  situation into a happy day,for Mummy. Enjoy.

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