I wasn’t expecting my over active imagination to want something more after viewing the short animated film The Reward. It wasn’t because the short was lacking in any way; the opposite, it is very entertaining. My cravings were coming from something that doesn’t exist and something the short wasn’t created to fill.
The Reward is short animated film about two guys who find a treasure map and embark on an epic adventure. Directed by Kenneth Ladekjær and Mikkel Mainz Elkjær, this 2013 charming short has no spoken dialogue. Facial expressions, body language, instrumentals and action, satisfies the viewers as the two gents develop a bromance and strong bonding friendship during the course of their quest.
Some observations that make way for criticism that the short film received is that throughout their journey, the two sleep with a lot of women. In addition to scenes where female breasts being displayed. This lead to cries of sexism, misogyny and patriarchy from some viewers. They stated the women were used as sex objects and props. I personally viewed it as two young single guys who like sex and it didn’t prevent me from enjoying my viewing. None of this is related to my own criticisms that this short film caused, which actually have nothing to do with this short film itself.
There is a quick scene where the two men are snuggled up together in a cave illuminated by fire, under blankets, using the belly of a dragon to rest their heads, surrounded by what looks like treasure (could be wrong here), as shooting stars fall in the background sky outside. This seems very romantic to me. In my opinion this one scene displays imagery of male pride, ego, sensitivity, wants and desire. The obvious sense of brotherhood, dominance, strength (over the dragon), safety, trust and wealth all in this one scene. Again, all completed without any dialogue.
On the surface, I don’t believe this scene to be anything sexual even though this animated short film has sexual tones, but on the other hand, what if it is? What if these two are slightly bisexual?
This thought lead me to my craving and minor angst which is something that I have voiced repeatedly over the years and just recently. It would be refreshing, invigorating, eye opening, liberating and groundbreaking to see the type of storytelling within male homosexual media and entertainment. Even though homosexual men play video games, read / view science fiction, comic books, horror and fantasy themed media; the vast majority of the creative media we create and produce, lack creativity and imagination.
Its as if our minds can accept big blockbuster films deep in mythos like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. We can allow literary franchises like The Hobbit and Harry Potter to take us off to magical lands. We can become entrenched in apocalyptic aftermaths of the Walking Dead while fearing White Walkers and the awe of dragons on Game of Thrones. However we it comes to the make believe we create for our consumption, homosexual male creative minds are stuck in recreating Sex in the City, Noah’s Arc, Queer as Folk and gayer versions of The Atlanta House Wives.
You can view The Reward below and feel free to share your thoughts on this cool short film.