Sexual encounters and the awkwardness of first times are no new subjects or thematic concerns for a short film, and neither are stories of queer characters, slowly making their presence felt more and more with every passing day.
However combining both to talk about the newness of a sexual experience between two characters who don't conform to heteronormativity, without falling prey to the trap of glorifying it or imbuing it with a tone of tragedy, is indeed a unique approach of crafting a narrative. It is precisely in this manner that Dirty infuses a fresh breath of air in the storytelling space by exploring a mundane reality, one unfortunately not engaged with enough, and simply presenting it forth without ostentation or unnecessary emotional devices.
Consequently, the film's concerns are not positioned using the self and the 'Other' binary, or juxtaposed by employing heterosexuality against homosexuality, or by pivoting the plot on any such contrast. Instead, it takes the viewer into an encounter of two young queer high-school students, one more inexperienced than the other, and the hesitation, confusion, and an unexpected situation that ensues thereafter.
Additionally, it is this dedication and meticulous attention by a story to its intentions that allow it a universality and authenticity, as Dirty goes ahead to exhibit. It is also in this that lies the normalisation of a situation without ever explicitly spelling it out.