Do You Still Remember Your ‘Firsts’?

‘Firsts’ is a heartfelt and touching 16-minute 2022 short film starring David L. Shi and Kelvin Ta and under the direction of Jesse Ung.

(Image: Firsts A Shortfilm | Facebook)

It depicts a Chinese student living in New Zealand as he nervously plans to have sex for the first time with a man he met online while struggling with the oppressive, heteronormative expectations of his family from afar.

 

Check out its Official Trailer below:

 

WARNING. This recap contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.

 

The short film begins with a young man wearing eyeglasses who lit the joss sticks to pay respect for his late father’s black and white photo hanging on the wall. And that young man named Steven, a closeted Chinese international student is talking to his mom on the phone, asking about Anna, his fabricated girlfriend, and pressuring him to get married so he won’t be alone. A few minutes later, he gets a text message from Andrew that he would be arriving in 20 minutes. Mom wonders if Steven will be having company as he is hardly busy tidying the room. His son replied that everything was fine and told her he would call her later tonight.

After talking to his mom over the phone, Andrew arrives and knocks on the door. Steven opens the door, followed by awkward greetings between the two. Andrew enters and compliments Steven for having a nice place. Steven tries again to break the ice by opening a typical conversation. Andrew attempted to kiss him, but he was unsuccessful. He tried again and did it as he kissed his neck. Steven responds with his whole body electrified and nervous, and you can hear he’s experiencing a hard time breathing. He is 21 years old and a virgin, so he doesn’t know how to respond and is shocked. Andrew went to the kitchen to get a glass of water for Steven to calm down.

Now that Steven is in a tranquil state. He starts apologizing to Andrew for what happened earlier. Andrew wonders if Steven has ever been into a guy or with anyone. Steven answered him with complete honesty. The two are conversing in front of Steven’s deceased father, and Andrew asks again if his dad and mom know his sexuality. He replied no one knew, even his mom, and he pretended to have a girlfriend to please her. His mom would probably kill him if she found her son was up into men. He lied because his mother was the only person he had in his life. Steven told Andrew if he wanted to leave, he could go. But Andrew chose to stay with him. He also reveals that he’s still a virgin to him which Andrew finds hot. He continued asking him if he did more hook-ups. Andrew answers him with honesty. After that, he apologizes again for questioning him.

When their eyes meet, Andrew asks Steven if he can kiss him properly. Steven agreed, and the two shared a passionate kiss. Like Steven’s reaction earlier, he has difficulty controlling his body and breathing. Andrew started caressing him to calm down and asked if he wanted to slow it down. Steven replied no and begged to keep going with excitement. Upon hearing the answer, Andrew started to give him pleasure. However, Steven stops and asks him to redeem his virginity. Andrew does and reminds him to tell to stop by any means. The two continue until it fades out to black. Steven woke up in pain as he finally lost his virginity at 21. Andrew asks if he wants him to leave, but Steven asks him to stay. The story ends with Steven and Andrew hugging each other on the bed.

The plot seemed to be simple, but the rawness of its cinematography made it stunned out. The actors’ acting is on point. Kudos to the director and the whole team. It has an open ending, so viewers can make their conclusion whatever they want to. It’s either they had a serious relationship, or what happened that night it’s just a hookup. Nonetheless, some of the viewers might relate especially being Asian, to the overwhelming pressure of getting married and hiding their sexual orientation to avoid them being disappointed.

Watch ‘Firsts’ on GagaOOLala

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