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Uncle Goose waits for a Phone Call short film review


Directed by: #KewLin

Written by: #KewLin


Uncle Goose. Eccentric? Quirky? At least quite content until he receives an unexpected phone call.

From eating spoonfuls of sugar to arm swinging exercises, Uncle Goose appears to have adjusted relatively well to his empty-nest living and has come to terms with the inevitability of life.

On one particularly normal day, while eating, Uncle Goose looks at the phone expectantly as if his intuition is saying something to him, (perfect cue for the intensifying background tv music) suddenly, the phone rings. He picks up the phone to be greeted by a long-lost friend. They fall into a comfortable banter as if there was never any distance between them. Mr Goose ends the call to check on the kettle but forgets to take his friend’s phone number.

The wait begins.

Uncle Goose, played by Shucheng Chen, represents a generation of parents and grandparents who refuse to upgrade to modern technology, but also a generation who, over time, have lost contact with great friends. Chen is excellent as Uncle Goose who diligently waits for his friend to call back. His disappointment is deeply felt in the close-up shot of the moment he realises he doesn’t know the phone number; hope comes with his old phone book but quickly flees with the disengaged number.

The highlight of the film is when Uncle Goose runs out of food. He makes the impossible, possible and is ecstatic that his idea has worked, up to a certain point; it truly beggars belief.

Again, the music, with its staccato chimes, plays right on cue for the mischief that is about to ensue, adding comic relief to an otherwise depressing and hopeless situation.

The phone finally rings.

Uncle Goose again has to come to terms with the inevitability of life; a running theme in this short. Having to deal with loss alone, is unimaginable unless you’ve been through it yourself and as an elderly person, one at some point will contemplate one's own mortality.

The film ends with a poignant scene where Uncle Goose chooses to celebrate his friend alone with a remembrance song rather than staying to play mahjong; a touching reference to a statement he makes earlier in the film about playing the game with his friend.

Uncle Goose’s short story is sure to have the audience reflecting, especially for those who can relate, on the state of our lives and the people still in it.


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