‘Pure Vanilla’: A Sweet Recipe for Love

Pure Vanilla

Have you ever had a crush on a co-worker? Surely, we all have wondered whether our feelings are reciprocated. Well, get your pastry forks out and get ready for a sweet confection because ‘Pure Vanilla’ is about to teach you a thing or two about the perfect recipe for love.

Set in modern-day Singapore, ‘Pure Vanilla’ is a sweet short BL film that cooks up a tale of a budding romance. Directed by Mickey Hiah,  this captivating story follows Charlie (played by Soh Deng Xun)  and Gabriel (played by Braven Yeo) as they navigate secret crushes and explore their feelings on a fateful night.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Pure Vanilla

‘Pure Vanilla’ starts with Gabriel, a proud owner of a cafe, being interviewed by a TV crew. Gabriel boasts that it is the busiest period of the year for them with Valentine’s just around the corner, especially since it is only he and his assistant, Charlie, who have been working nonstop for the special holiday. 

Charlie who is busy sketching a cake and confessing to the viewers about his crush on Gabriel. Charlie thinks Gabriel is cute, but is pretty annoying, which is pretty much what everybody thinks about their crushes, right? 

Charlie ponders on where he stands with Gabriel because he believes he has been looking at Charlie differently than he used to before, as if “there’s something that wasn’t there before.” Did someone call Belle from Beauty and the Beast? And like any other gay guy who has had a crush on someone before, Charlie is scared that he is reading too much into Gabriel’s friendliness, that he’s mistaking it for something a bit more special.

After the interview, Gabriel asks if Charlie wants to head out first as he still has to work on a few things. Of course, like the whipped guy that he is, Charlie hesitantly asks whether Gabriel needs some help, with puppy eyes to boot. Gabriel accepts with a smile, then pats Charlie’s head. Charlie’s left dumbstruck.

Inside the kitchen, Gabriel keeps going back and forth with his recipes, wondering if his creations would be good enough for their patrons. Gabriel thinks they have been repetitive with their goods but Charlie says they can’t exactly just change the recipes they already worked hard on. Gabriel fiddles with the recipe book that Charlie was working on earlier and takes an interest in Charlie’s latest, albeit untested recipe.

The boys start to work on a cake, experimenting with flavors and ideas. As they hustle and bustle around the kitchen, the POV changes to Gabriel’s.

Gabriel believes he’s a pretty simple person who used to think that the greatest delight in the world is the tingling effect after you eat a piece of chocolate– until Charlie, that is. Gabriel starts waxing poetic about Charlie. Charlie whose eyes light up when he talks about sweets. Charlie whose cheeks flush when he talks about his eccentric ideas. Charlie has a smile so beautiful that it apparently makes Gabriel want to melt into a puddle. And when they’re together, Gabriel feels like nothing else matters in the world. That’s some sweet talk right there.

They finish baking their cake and Gabriel thinks it is delicious and workable. Gabriel asks what he would do without Charlie and they are suddenly caught in a moment, eye-to-eye, and bodies a little too close. A beat goes before Gabriel pulls away first. Charlie offers to clean up and asks him to rest.

Pure Vanilla

Moments later, Charlie finds a sleeping Gabriel on the counter. He considers him briefly and then drapes Gabriel’s jacket on his shoulders. Charlie sits beside the resting Gabriel and sweeps stray strands of hair away from Gabriel’s face. Like this, Charlie studies him in silence for a few moments. He hides a smile. Gabriel wakes up from his slumber and grabs Charlie’s hand. He never lets go. He comments that Charlie’s hand is so warm. Silence. They continue playing with each other’s fingers, caressing the other’s hand. Gabriel asks if Charlie is thinking the same thing. Charlie visibly gulps and asks what exactly Gabriel is thinking about. Gabriel looks at Charlie’s lips, then his eyes, and back to his lips. Then, Gabriel leans and plants a short kiss on Charlie’s lips. Gabriel says that’s what he was thinking about. Charlie is quiet. The moment blooms. Gabriel asks him to say something but Charlie cuts him off with a lingering kiss. And with the world outside as their backdrop, Gabriel and Charlie continue to share a passionate kiss.

‘Pure Vanilla’ is exactly what it says on the tin. Like in the film, it is akin to a small pastry with a layer of pure white cream sandwiched between fluffy chiffon cakes. It is a straightforward, no-nonsense, and saccharine story about blossoming romance that is sure to satisfy those with a sweet tooth. 

And if you are still wondering what exactly is the perfect recipe for love, the answer lies in taking that courageous step like what Charlie and Gabriel did. And maybe you’ll get a kiss too if you are lucky.

If you are curious as to what more is in store for these two boys, 250 Films, the producer of the short film, announced a crowdfunding project for a sequel pre-emptively titled ‘Pure Vanilla: Recipe for Romance.’

The proposed storyline will follow Gabriel and Charlie as they struggle to find the balance between their personal and professional lives. Their growing relationship is further put to the test when an old friend of Charlie’s, Alex, unexpectedly joins the team.

 

Watch ‘Pure Vanilla’ on GagaOOLala.

 

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Taste the Love in ‘Pure Vanilla’

 

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