This short is likely a very polarising one. You'll either find it to be funny and charming in a twisted kind of way, or simply find to be as bleak and disturbing a viewing experience as it is a quick one. I wasn't quite sure how to react to it really, I didn't know when I should laugh or be shocked, it was a skillful blend of both funny and chilling. It focuses on the decidedly unhappy birthday of a very odd and overly-sensitive little boy named Timothy, a child who is suffocated by the beautiful, yet sickly- sweet and cloying environment in which he lives, and who is in the story undergoing a very strange and negative reaction to the medication his well-meaning but fairly oblivious mother has put him on for his unhealthy moods. He hates his presents and resents the classmates he doesn't get along with that his mother has invited to the party. He humorously tells a few inner-monologue stories of his therapy sessions, being kidnapped and then promptly returned because his mommy couldn't afford the ransom, and of his only real friend, an Asian boy who couldn't understand a word he was saying! The final straw comes when, after running out to get an ice cream but only just missing the truck, and then seeing that everybody else managed to get one and didn't think to get one for him including his own mother, and they all..taunt(?) him with a surreal little swaying dance, pretty freaking bizarre and out of the blue, I guess then little Tim decides to get even in a most fatalistic way that'll give everyone one grim birthday surprise that they'll never forget... And then frankly, if I'm being too graphic I apologise, the short closes on the distressing image of him climbing onto a chair with a noose about to.. It doesn't specify if he actually goes through with it or not, but judging by the tone.. Not to be too insensitive I hope, but even though he didn't have any friends and nobody could really understand him, I didn't feel like the kid had all that much to complain about, y'know? That was a very nice house for a single mother! Sometimes when you're a little kid and you're of a certain impressionable age you do tend to occasionally take an awful lot of s**t deeply to heart that is totally nothing to you when you get older. Like I remember this time when I was about 6 or 7 and I was all upset and crying, completely hysterical over this cute and popular kid that didn't come to my birthday party even though he promised he would right in front of everybody. Oh so embarrassing, "why didn't anybody come to my party?!", it was like the end of the world!! At least I got to have a lot more cake(!) This is a very good, excellently stylised short that looks so sharp it could pass for a movie. It's genuinely funny at points and comes off as almost whimsical, but I also thought it was a bit lacking in substance, it was over too soon and needed considerably more time to adequately develop its troubling story more. I'd have liked it a lot more if it had had a more positive ending, or at least a more ambiguous one. But as it is it leaves me feeling rather cold and downhearted. I mean Christ, child suicide is a major controversial and upsetting subject for anything to attempt to touch upon, even short films that strive to be cutesy black comedies but when all is said and done, just leave you feeling sad. And it happens. I can't for the life of me fathom how minds so young and inexperienced can possibly be capable of feeling such hopeless pain, nor do I think I'd care to, but tragically they do. It's an effective short but for me the heaviness of the subject matter vastly out-ways anything else that it's trying to be. Too eerie to be wholesome, too dire to be truly comedic, it all just ends up feeling a little mishandled. Good not great. Proceed with caution.
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