Straight-to-VOD Thursday: The Call
James R | On 13, Feb 2014
Director: David Cooper
Cast: Andy Goulding, Gary Simmons
Watch online: YouTube
Straight-to-VOD Thursday: From direct-to-iTunes indies to naff bargain bucket sequels, we look at films only available on VOD in the UK. This week, it’s short film The Call, released this week on YouTube.
There are around 670,000 people in the UK with dementia, and even more hundreds of thousands friends and family who have to face it every day. The Call takes their suffering and gives it a voice.
Taking the form of a phone-in at a radio station, it sees Carl (Gary Simmons) relate the story of how he met his wife, Sue, years ago – only for her to forget him. His call only lasts a couple of minutes, but his speech hits home, the disjointed dialogue taken directly from the words of those dealing with the condition.
As Carl loyally reminisces about his umbrella-wielding wife, director David Cooper cuts from the studio to the faces of those listening; people at work and at home, whose routines are interrupted by the moving anecdote. It’s a simple decision, but Cooper’s gentle short film gets its power from that no-frills approach. He quietly emphasises the universal impact of the condition, before returning to a close-up of Andy Goulding’s believable presenter, whose forced smile gradually gives way to an overwhelmed frown.
Sir Patrick Stewart lends his voice to the end credits to appeal for fundraising for a range of worldwide dementia charities, but even without his contribution, The Call’s plain, straightforward storytelling is moving without becoming saccharine; a heartfelt depiction of the realities of dementia that all too often go unsaid.
For more information about the film, or to donate, visit www.thecallshortfilm.com