During the 1950s, there was a fierce war being fought on the soil of Korea. Machine guns being fired, bombs going off, and tanks, well, doing what tanks do best: blowing stuff up. While reading that is enough to get any war maniac excited, Birthday Boy takes you on a journey through another side of war. A side that hardly ever comes to mind when you hear the word "war".
Birthday Boy starts off by showing us a young boy scavenging through a shot down fighter jet's cockpit. As he leaves the body of the war machine, we learn that the war has already left its mark on this young boy's town. There is the shocking sight of a fighter jet now cut in half and rusting away in what could be anyone's living room. From then on, we partake in a day of this young man's life. We see the many things he does for recreation. From making clever use of a speeding train to flatten a screw to pretending he is a soldier firing a machine gun. When he gets home, there is a package in wait for him that will change his life forever.
During Birthday Boy, we witness many symbolic things that portrays just how life was in Korea during the 1950s. There is the scene of a train transporting tanks and other war vehicles off towards the front line. Our young protagonist's reaction towards this shows just how common a scene it may have been back then. And just what was his reaction like? Was he terrified at the scene of these war machines? Nope, his reaction was filled with joy as he ran after the fleeing train.
Birthday Boy's art uses CGI, and the coloring of this film was one of its strong points. The artwork is not perfect and only gets a passing grade, but it was enough to portray what a day in war times was like.
While the sound from Birthday Boy did not marvel me, I thought that it did a good job with its selection of music for the key moments in the film. Besides music, there were numerous background sounds that you will hear during the film that relates to war. For example, when Manuk, our young protagonist, is playing pretend soldier. There is the sound of real gunfire battle going on. There's also the sound of airplanes flying by.
The protagonist for this Birthday Boy is a young boy named Manuk. Being an eight minute short film, there is really no time for us to know much about him, however, Birthday Boy manages to show us a few things about him. While he may not know the full extent of what war is, he loves to pretend to be a soldier that is in the midst of a battle and is amazed at the war machines that he sees throughout his village such as the jets and the tanks. He also is quite the artist as he has dozens of handmade war figurines.
For a eight minute short film Birthday Boy truly shows the effects war had on young Manuk and his town. It left me with more questions than answers and had me wanting to know more of exactly what happened there. While Birthday Boy is not for everyone, I would recommend this for anyone who wants to see a nice short film about war.
From start to finish, Birthday Boy truly portrays just what life is like for a young boy in Korea during war times. read more