Perhaps saving the best for last, No Strings delivers a sense of longing that reminds you how much we’re willing to compromise or settle for the sake of company.
|Screenplay By||Eoin Maher|
|Date Released (Digital)||1/22/2021|
|Genre(s)||Young Adult, LGBT|
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All Bryn really wanted was some no strings attached sex to ease the loneliness, get off, or help him get to sleep. However, with Sean not looking like his picture, being nosy, and not much for small talk when Bryn is guiding the conversation, he doesn’t make the best guest. In fact, with him guilting Bryn into letting him stay over, he becomes more and more annoying by the minute.
Yet, with Bryn a long way from home and Sean lonely as well, so comes the question if their mutual desire to not be alone may compensate for all the ways these two get on each other’s nerves.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Reason(s) for Film Rating: Smoking weed, sexual situations (nothing too graphic – just a bare bum)
- Jump Scares/ Laughs/ Tear-Jerking Moments: If you feel any kind of lonely, you may get a little emotional. Though Bryn will get you back in a good mood as he pushes back against Sean taking advantage of the situation.
Cast & Characters
From Holyhead, Wales, Bryn hasn’t been in London too long but is already thinking about heading back home. Mainly due to the cost to live in London and the loneliness, and while things weren’t perfect in Holyhead, they were surely better than what Bryn is dealing with now.
A Dublin native, Sean is queer and doesn’t really enjoy the coming out conversation or any small talk which is too focused on him. He’d rather learn more about you, have you open up, all under the excuse that he’s shy.
The Push & Pull
Flat out, Sean was annoying as hell and danced on that line between getting your sympathy and wondering why Bryn didn’t make an effort to kick him out. Yet, as the short went you, you get it. In each other, Bryn and Sean recognized a sense of loneliness, and unfortunately for Bryn, Sean took advantage of that. Granted, maybe not to seem exploitative, but it did come off that way.
For when it comes to Sean, I think he didn’t just recognize Bryn’s loneliness but everything he talked about. It’s just that Sean didn’t want to dwell on the negative. Thus he avoids telling his coming out story, and wanting something fun and even intimate – hence him going for kisses and wanting to cuddle. Yet, with Bryn, I don’t think he was there.
This is why the ending comes as a minor shock. Sean is annoying and needy, and it isn’t clear where Bryn is at in terms of his emotions or sexuality. All that is clear is Sean desires more than a no-strings hook up. Though, who knows? Maybe all Bryn wanted was someone to stay and grew accustomed to being used, so he just wanted to use someone for once? Making Sean’s desire to stay, get to know Bryn, uncomfortable and thus, something to push back against?
The final short of The Male Gaze: Hide and Seek might be the best. Mainly due to it being less about potential or even wanting an extension, but giving you everything you’d want and need in one tidy package. Be it the exploration of loneliness in London, and longing for something simple, to the desperation to extend finally having the meekest connection, even if it is barely reciprocal. How No Strings touches upon hook up culture and the challenges participants face is comical at times but no less a reminder of how draining it can get. Hence the positive label and recommendation.
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