The Language of Love is an Australian short film, threatening to go viral, that deals with sexuality, young love and the courage to embrace both. At the time of writing it has received over 76,000 views in 26 days and is already gaining plenty of attention, positive reception and even a one-word retweet from Stephen Fry simply proclaiming it as ‘amazing!’
The YouTube video stars 17-year-old Kim Ho who, despite everything else about the video, rather steals the show. His performance is one of maturity, and delivers a character and scene that its intended audience can relate to. Not only does he hold the viewer’s attention – pretty much solely – for the entirety of the 9 minutes, but he does so in a way that’s so innocent and tortured that you can’t help but simultaneously identify with and feel for him.
As well as starring in the short, he also wrote it, as you can find out more about in the ‘making of’. His youthful look (braces and all), and accomplished display here has more than a hint of a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt to it. Beyond Kim Ho lie the themes of the story itself: acceptance, coming-out and facing the adversity of the world. Whilst these themes relate more specifically to a gay audience, the beauty to be found in the film – if not the situation – is the universality of it.
It deals with the difficulties that pretty much every young person has to go through. These include the head-versus-heart debate inside, as to whether or not you should tell the object of your affections your feelings, as well as wondering if you even could. The French Language and school exam representations used throughout serve as clever little setup devices to frame the action, and the shots away from Kim Ho’s character – quick and blurred of the untitled Sam – are handled with expertise.
Ultimately these 9 minutes are just a drop in the ocean of a young life – even moreso a gay one – but help to convey the issues, thoughts, feelings and problems of one so delicate, so scared and so idealistic in many ways.
The Language of Love is a caring, thoughtful examination of young love and LGBT issues that is delivered straight from the heart through use of the head.