Perhaps one of the most controversial and polarizing short films of the year, “Shower” has inspired a lot discussion among the media. Is it shocking just to be shocking, is it exploitative, or is there an actual message to be absorbed here? I don’t think there is a wrong interpretation, but I will find it fascinating to see how audiences respond to it after watching it. It’s become a very volatile short film with a climax that I kind of knew was coming, but still left me pretty shocked. Love it or hate it, you have to ask yourself if it’s art, or just a ploy to shake audiences up?
Set at a local pool, a young man begins to shower a few stalls away from another swimmer. After bathing for a moment he hears the other man moaning and grunting, and is shocked to learn he’s masturbating in the shower. Motivated to chastise him for sexually pleasuring himself in a public place, the man entices him by offering to let him watch and engage him as he masturbates. All things considered we still live in a world where some secrets we’re afraid to admit to ourselves for fear it may ruin our lives or the lives of people around us.
Even in a world where it’s become more and more accepted, there are still so many people that demonize individuals to where they’re content living a double life than ever admitting to their deeper desires and sexual cravings. Director Henry K. Norvalls has a lot to say about sexuality in general and the shame and fear of admitting to our lust, rather than denying out wholeheartedly. It’s a compelling and startling short drama, and one that will arouse a lot of debates and perhaps even heated discussion. I highly recommend viewing what unfolds, and deciding for yourself what purpose this short film serves, and what it can offer.