Chintu Ka Birthday is an Indian Hindi-language comedy drama film written and directed by Devanshu Kumar and Satyanshu Singh. It is produced by comedians Tanmay Bhat, Rohan Joshi, Ashish Shakya and Gursimran Khamba of All India Bakchod under their banner First Draft. Starring Vinay Pathak, Tillotama Shome, Seema Pahwa and Vedant Chibber, the film tells the story of a 6 year old boy named Chintu, stuck in Iraq with his family during Saddam’s fall in April 2004.
The film was screened at the 2019 Jagran Film Festival and was supposed to be screened at the 2018 MAMI Film Festival but was dropped out of it after a sexual harrasment allegation against one of its producer’s Khamba during the Me Too movement. Chintu Ka Birthday was released on ZEE5 on 5 June 2020.
The film tells the story of 6-year-old boy named Chintu, stuck in Iraq with family at the times of Saddam’s fall. It is April, 2004. US-led allied forces have been in Iraq for a year now. All Indians have been brought home, so says the Indian government. But there are those who migrated to Iraq illegally, still waiting to find a way out. On the day of our story, one such family prepares to celebrate the 6th birthday of their youngest member, Chintu. Their kind-hearted Iraqi landlord Mehdi lends them a helping hand.
They have to deal with a lot of issues like they don’t find a cake, the old cranky oven doesn’t work, issues with decoration, gifts, etc. However, the family has resolved to celebrate his birthday come what may. Waheed, a school friend of Chintu smuggles drugs & CDs for American soldier & also Jihadi material. He had earlier given Chintu some of his CDs of Jihadi material as well which his parents don’t approve of.
Suddenly there is a bomb blast & Mehdi is scared & starts looking out of the house desperately. He requests Chintu’s family to hide him, which they approve & he hides in the storeroom. Later, 2 American soldiers, Loius & Reed enter their home to search for the suspects of the bomb blast. Loius is experienced, while Reed has recently arrived at Iraq. Chintu’s father Madan, acts normal & calms the situation. The soldiers are satisfied and about to leave when Mehdi screams because of the rats in the storeroom. The soldier quickly pulls him out & detain both of them. The situation suddenly becomes tense. The soldiers request a convoy to take the detainees, but they are informed that the coast is not clear for the convoy. Later Waheed & a girl arrive for the b’day party. It turns out that Waheed knows Louis & there is an exchange of banter. Mehdi takes advantage of this distraction & escapes from there. Louis chases him, while Reed stays put. Later the radio contact is lost between the two.
Meanwhile, because of this chaos, they forget about the cake & it gets charred in the oven. The family is almost in tears to see the cake however, Madan gives them hope & requests his wife Sudha to make another cake with whatever they have. Sudha then starts making a cake out of cookies.
Later Chintu recalls that Jihadi CDs Waheed had given him & attempts to hide them before Reed discovers it. However, Reed catches him & gets furious. He thinks that the entire family is aiding terrorist & starts thrashing Madan. Louis arrives & tries to calm down Reed. He tells Madan to not to hide anything from them for the sake of his family. Here Reed tears down the whole house for any more evidence but, he is left more furious because he is not able to find anything. Louis guesses that Waheed is the culprit by the look on his face but, he waits for Madan to say something. Later Madan gets a call from his father & broken down when his father tells him that despite meeting a very senior politician his efforts to evacuate them from Iraq turned futile.
After sometime when things are calm he strikes a conversation with the soldiers. He tells them that he understands that they are not bad people & just doing their job, but they should give them 10 minutes to celebrate the birthday & he would calmly come with them. Louis dissuades Madan from becoming a sacrificial lamb & urges him to tell them the truth but Madan still refuses. Both of them finally agree for the birthday party & the family starts gearing up for the cake cutting ceremony. Madan receives a call from Mehdi who warns him not to go with the American soldiers because he would never be able to return but, Madan is unwavering.
Chintu’s family celebrate a very emotional birthday & while Reed reflects deeply on his actions. As they are about to leave Reed drops the plan of taking Madan with them & both of them leave. Waheed apologies to Madan & he quickly forgives him.
Vinay Pathak as Madan Tiwary
Tillotama Shome as Sudha Tiwary
Seema Pahwa as Nani
Bisha Chaturvedi as Lakshmi
Vedant Chibber as Chintu
Khalid Massou as Mahdi
Reginald L Barnes as Louis Jackson
Nathan Schol as Darren Reed