The Birthday

In the last of his seven films based on the deadly sins, writer-helmer Richard Hobert efficiently wraps the series by inviting most of the main characters from the previous films to a big birthday party. Film is entertaining in its own right but works better if you've seen the other six pics. Septet, which began in 1993, is being sold as a package and could find a small audience in niche sales.

In the last of his seven films based on the deadly sins, writer-helmer Richard Hobert efficiently wraps the series by inviting most of the main characters from the previous films to a big birthday party. Film is entertaining in its own right but works better if you’ve seen the other six pics. Septet, which began in 1993, is being sold as a package and could find a small audience in niche sales.

Series regulars Mikael (Goran Stangertz) and Catti (Camilla Lunden) now have two kids and are preparing for Mikael’s 50th. Catti, however, has fallen in love with somebody else and plans to leave Mikael; Mikael, meanwhile, plans to propose to Catti during the festivities.

Previous characters roll up for the party, supplying plenty of ingredients for disaster and drama. Ingrid (Lena Endre), from “Run for Your Life,” comes from charity work in Africa, almost blind from a mosquito bite. Erik (Jakob Eklund), from the same pic, arrives searching for his kids, whose mother now lives with neighbor Henning (Borje Ahlstedt).

Tove (Pernilla August), from “Where the Rainbow Ends,” is now a successful businesswoman, and sleazy drunk Ralf (Sven-Bertil Taube), from “The Hands,” is Catti’s sole relative at the party.

Some side-stories should have been given more screen time but thanks to the perfs by the elite lineup of Swedish actors and the movie’s overall warm heart, Hobert manages to pull it off. Tech credits are fine.

The Birthday

(SWEDEN)

Production: A Sonet Film release of a Cimbria Film production, in association with SVT Drama Malmo and Film pa Osterlen. (International sales: BV Intl. Pictures, Avaldsnes, Norway.) Produced by Goran Lindstrom. Executive producers, Lindstrom, Bengt Linne. Directed, written by Richard Hobert. Camera (color), Lars Crepin; editor, Leif Kristiansson; music, Bjorn Hallman, Hobert; art director, Aida Kalnins; costume designer, Kajsa Tosting. Reviewed at Gothenburg Film Festival, Jan. 31, 2000. Original title: Fodelsedagen. Running time: 114 MIN.

With: With: Camilla Lunden, Goran Stangertz, Lena Endre, Pernilla August, Sven Lindberg, Mona Malm, Sven-Bertil Taube, Jakob Eklund, Rebecca Liljeberg, Borje Ahlstedt, Lena Viredius, Mats Bergman, Shanti Roney, Helena Brodin, Thomas Roos.

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