Why is this short film important?
Whaddup. I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time now and it’s finally here.
I wanted to make this post more serious and analytical so here it is. I’m Cloud and this is why the short film “In a Heartbeat” by Beth David and Esteban Bravo is a masterpiece and why you should care.
This short film that was released today has been through kickstarter and I know that kickstarter projects are well… Unreliable. So I was really scared for the success of this project considering that I’ve seen many other kickstarter projects have popped out sloppy, horrible, and downright awful. Yeah, talk about a waste of dough. But I’m happy to say that this wasn’t one of those fails. The creators of this short film were very determined and weren’t going to give up on this.
This short film has something we like to call good representation. Needless to say spoiler warning so I’m gonna get right into the story. The short film takes place through the eyes of Sherwin a closeted schoolboy. Who has a classic crush on another schoolboy. Enter love interest Jonathan. Just from the concept art it was established that Sherwin was head over heels for Jonathan.
That is something a lot of kids experience, crushes but not all kids have the challenge of being outed to a world and society where they could be ridiculed and possibly slaughtered for their feelings. And I know that sounds scary but it’s true some kids are just in dangerous unaccepting environments, so it’s easy to see themselves in Sherwin.
Sherwin isn’t the best at expressing his feelings and nor does he really want to because he’s closeted. But that’s not healthy at a young age to try to hide your feelings when they’re so deep. So his love is personified into this very adorable heart. This heart is Sherwin’s desire to be with who he wants even if it’s another guy and nothing’s stopping it except Sherwin. This carries the message that love is love even if it’s not from a man to a woman and vice versa.
So through the short film this heart is just going out there to be with Jonathan and Sherwin is struggling to hold it back. Suppress his feelings should I say. And it reaches this point where the cartoon heart is showing it’s affections in public in front of the school. The homophobic surroundings are then very real and puts both Sherwin and Jonathan on the spot. And this scene at 2:18 is the breaking point (pun not intended). Just this shot is showing how the two characters have this pure bond but yet everyone else sees it as a disgusting display. Now everyone can see it Sherwin isn’t in the closet anymore and put himself out there. So now that he’s out and exposed for what happens his heart breaks. Literally.
And the doors close on Jonathan with a piece of the broken heart now aware of Sherwin’s sexuality and feelings. So basically Sherwin symbolically came out to him but shrunk and ran away with his romantic feelings in shambles. And media wise that’s usually the end of it for queer characters. Nothing. No love, no affection, just a broken spirit. We see him outside the school with his broken heart.
But then Jonathan comes and fixes the broken heart. Returning his feelings and showing support and acceptance by sitting next to him with the repaired heart. And in the end both of their hearts come together. So finally the gay characters get a happy ending after years of bury your gays and homophobia. There’s happily ever after.
This film shows the struggles of real people and there’s no dialogue either so literally anyone can enjoy this without any language barriers or translation errors. That’s what makes good representation showing the struggles and themes that a group of people experience and even flipping the script and giving them a good ending.
I apologize for spelling and possibly grammatical errors but I wanted to get this out soon. Thanks for reading.