›› Chaos Toad ‹‹

a short film by Carlos Lopes.

2018 | 8 mins | UK.

the close relationship between a mother, her son and his imaginary friend.

Dave says:

There's a heartwarming message to this short film from Portuguese director Carlos Lopes. Written by Joanna Benecke, this is but a touching tale of the close relationship between a mother, her son and in turn, his imaginary friend Arabella Sparkle (James Gillan). And a friend indeed when Andrew (Thomas Coles), a gay man who hasn't had a date in years, finds himself the sole carer of his ailing mother (Beverley Klein) whose mind is seemingly in a state of dementia. Or is it?

As anyone who has been in this situation knows, caring for a family member and / or partner is literally a full-time job, one that is all the more emotionally painful when the one you care for and deeply love, no longer recognizes you. The result can often find the carer seemingly alone the world with their own social life, all but falling by the wayside of never ending duties. Yet every carer needs some time off, as this poignant piece depicts in a comic fantasy fashion, as Arabella Sparkle sets out to bring some colour into Andy's drab and forlorn existence.

In short, there's some real nice touches in this all too short work, not least from Gillan who and as expected, steals the show as the lady with all the glitz 'n' glam. Yet and by no surprise the real star here is the story itself, one that vividly details the devotion of carers to their loved ones, all too often at the cost of their own dreams and ambitions. I could go on and say more, but words frankly cannot do justice to the sheer dedication of those caring for those who by way of physical and / or mental ailments, are no longer able to care for themselves. And whilst this short film offers a happy ending, the fact remains that as the pressure on social services ever increases, the sobering reality of the situation is that it's one that many of us will at some point in our lives, find ourselves in. Say no more.

›› available as part of the NEW QUEER VISIONS: PARENTAL GUIDANCE shorts compilation.
›› posted: Monday, 18th October, 2021.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 

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