Mar 12, 2014
CNBlue's "Can't Stop" Is A Treat For The Eye
Like it wasn't enough with SNSD and 2ne1 coming back at the same time, flower boy rock band CNBlue have also joined the race, and are a force to be reckoned with.
I'll admit it, when I heard the teaser I felt a bit sad. I have a hard time with ballads and slower songs in general, so I was really scared they would actually release one as a title track. Then I thought; maybe it's just the beginning that's piano based, and the song kicks off later? But then again I saw Yonghwa sitting by his piano so beautifully, and so I came face to face with the truth that I wasn't going to get a I'm Sorry 2.0.
Instead, I got this visually stunning video and an equally stunning song.
Like I said, it starts just so; Yonghwa playing his piano singing about lost love. We already get to meet the main players of this video, the man already mentioned, and the girl playing his love interest.
I don't know if this was the only actress available or if 2014 just seems to be the year of the white girl. For this particular video, there's no extreme issues about her portrayal that I can find, but having white women in videos can be quite problematic to say the least. A good example for this is TVXQ's Something , or even more severe in Gary's Shower Later. Women are always sexually objectified to a certain extent, but white women in Kpop videos usually have it pretty bad too. It's quite contradictory, because they are portrayed both as the ideal trophy to possess, but that means that they also only exist for visual purposes only.
But that's another story, because the girl in CNBlue's video actually has a part to play.
We see both Yonghwa and this girl in the same room, but they're not there at the same time. We see them look at each other trough mirrors, and the lyric "I live day by day, like a mirror" further enhances this. They do things that seem to connect to each other, and we see her probably through his eyes, they way he used to be able to see her but isn't anymore. Her "side" is the past, the happy and the bright days that now are no more. Yonghwa is in the same space as they once were, but in the present time. He remembers their love and misses it dearly, and he does actions that he connects with that time, like folding and throwing paper planes.
The video ends with him coming to some sort of solution, but it's very ambiguous to what it actually means and symbolizes. He takes a nearby chair and smashes it into the mirror, and proceeds to cross over the border separating them. This could mean many things, but I think the very physical breaking of the mirror, the item that keeps them apart, means that he is doing something about it rather than mourning by himself. Maybe he wants to try and find her and talk to her, to reconcile and make things up.
One of the more interesting and appealing aspects of this video is not the actual plot, but all the visual themes and details. This video is wonderfully shot and edited, and the lightning, colors and use of props are beautiful and makes this video a lovely watch. One thing, among many, that stood out to me were the use of flowers. In the song, there's a line that goes "I still smell your scent of spring", and this is visualized in a excellent way because it's very bright and full of pastels and floral items, but it leaves you with that bittersweet feeling. It's for the most part very light in coloring, but the tone is just so slightly blue which makes it sadder than warmer tones would have. It's both so happy and uplifting yet at the same time painful and mournful. The different sets the band scenes are in also contrast each other. The dark one feels just so, but all the red roses still makes it relevant to the rest of the video. The rain of flower petals and feathers, the cut scenes of flowers, the words and lines spread out on walls are great added details that further enhances the visual aspect of this video.
Admittedly, there's a lot of Yonghwa in this video. Not only does he sing almost the entire song, but he also plays the main character. I love seeing his gorgeous face, of course, but his acting here is really below average. I mean, this guy has been in so many dramas and even played the lead in one, but manages to convey no emotion here at all. A bit strange, I think.
The rest of the members get very little screen time, poor Minhyuk barely gets any at all, but they all look very smart in their fitted suits. The band scenes are just as nice to look at even if it's just them playing instruments, but that is also due to the great settings as well as props, lightning and other effects. I do love that jumping they do in the first chorus, because the song really takes off at that point.
All in all, this is a stunning video. I found myself intrigued, engaged and interested from start to finish. The video definitely helps make the song even better, it complements it wonderfully in all its different parts. The visual department is one that I would like to see more Kpop groups have in their videos, and the small details and effects really makes this one exciting and adds another dimension to the viewing experience. The balance between the plot scenes, cut scenes and band scenes are well balanced, and keeps the video from becoming boring or repetitive.