Updated: May 24, 2020
Written & Directed by: #FarbodKhoshtinat
In a time where the LGBTQ+ community is just beginning to thrive, it’s good to sometimes take a step back and explore some of the not so pleasant moments that one could experience. Farbod Khoshtinat’s short film Two Little Boys spends 12 minutes showing the affects of a troubled and somewhat sheltered upbringing. Parents that perhaps don’t fully understand love and how it can bring people together in the most wonderful of ways. They may believe they’re protecting their child, but they’re actually pushing that individual into a dark and lonely corner. Khoshtinat’s film doesn’t take any sides, it just simply examines what could be (and I presume is) happening behind closed doors.
Two Little Boys opens with some archival footage of Josh (Trace Talbot) and Tyler (Asa Germann) as kids, playing together and minding their own business. It then cuts forward in time to show Josh, sitting alone in a changing room. He’s clutching onto a letter addressed to Tyler, who enters the scene aggressively moments later. As the film plays out we start to learn that things have drastically changed since they were kids, and clearly they’ve drifted apart quite significantly. With two strong performances and suitably gloomy cinematography, Two Little Boys begins to excel beyond any short film I’ve seen this year. Unraveling the relationship between the two boys, the letter is read to Tyler and it becomes heated. Unsettling imagery and a droning score (by Farbod and Artem Semenov) enhances the action that unfolds, and just as the climatic moment hits, the reason for the behaviour is revealed in a chilling final scene.
I admire anyone who tackles this subject, especially when it’s executed in such a way as this. Luckily, I haven’t struggled in figuring out who I am, not like this. It’s always good to see filmmakers present an audience with something to think about, if they weren’t already before. Farbod Khoshtinat explores love without restraining from the grittiness and pain, and leaves you with exactly that: something to think about.
I must return to the performances by Talbot and Germann, who deserve incredible amounts of praise for their acting in this film. Both present complicated and contused portrayals of two boys who know deep down who they’re meant to be. With tightly focused direction from Khoshtinat, Two Little Boys is a glowing showcase of young talent, and a fantastic yet distressing film that should stick in the viewer’s mind for some time.
Watch the trailer for Two Little Boys below.