User Reviews (2)

Add a Review

  • Warning: Spoilers
    !!!!!! SPOILERS !!!!!

    Bob has described the plot of this short film very well - On some rural island in Ireland a son decides to treat his mother to a trip on the mainland but things don't go according to plan

    This deals with tragedy when when the tractor carrying the son and mother breaks down so the son goes to get some water for the overheating radiator , but this is the bit I don't understand . He returns with the water puts it in the radiator but for some reason this doesn't make the tractor work and the tide starts to come in . Wouldn't both of these characters realised they'd be trapped by the incoming water and decided to make a run for the coast ? Strangely they nonchalantly stand beside the broken down tractor while they had a chance to escape . There's another illogical moment when the other son gets into a boat to search for them . Surely there's only one route from the island to mainland ? Surely he'd have been able to spot the half submerged tractor from a considerable distance ?

    I guess if THE BIRTHDAY has a subtext it's one of Christian morality . For example perhaps it's suggested that the brother who carried out the search had been drinking and had he been sober he would have spotted the stranded relatives , but I'm not sure if that's what's being said . Likewise there might be a theme of catholic guilt in the final scene but being a devout atheist I've never really understood the concept of catholic guilt . But this is a fair enough short film which should certainly appeal to fans of the medium
  • On an Irish island just off the mainland two brothers live with their mother. The eldest brother decides to take his mother to the mainland for a meal for her birthday. Because she hates boats they decide to take a tractor across the sand bank when the tide goes out. They cheerfully head out over the bank unaware of what the birthday holds for them.

    This short has no hidden meaning - in fact the dialogue is largely meaningless and it's more about the visuals and the emotional impact of the story. As such it worked very well for me. Taking me into this friendly family where the brothers care for their mother and want to make her happy on her birthday - I liked the elder brother and the mother with ease.

    The story may not be surprising but has a real emotional punch to it that you cannot fail to be moved by - even if it takes a while for you to mull it over and let it sink in, in terms of what the characters must feel. The acting is good, delivering much without overpowering dialogue. The director does well and brings simple images to the screen to contrast with the sheer emotional complexity of the story. She was picked to do the job and she earned this selection here.

    Overall the film may be a little unclear and may disappoint those who are used to their emotions being painted onto the screen. A pretty but difficult film that cannot fail to move you when you watch it and for a while afterwards.