May 28, 2014

Infinite Is Most Certainly My One And Only "Last Romeo"

Infinite is back. Infinite is back. INFINITE IS BACK. 
Sorry, I just had to get it out of my system. Anyhow, I am really excited that Infinite are finally back, especially after last year's (sort of) disappointments. I actually did like Man In Love as a song, but I wasn't too fond about the concept, and Destiny didn't really do anything for me either, unfortunately. However, when I saw the teaser photos and video for Last Romeo I knew I was going to like it a lot better.

I'm sure most people know or at least are aware of Shakespeare's story about Romeo and Juliet, which is regarded one of the most famous love stories of all time and has been adapted in many forms since its publish in the late 1500's. I have seen two movie adaptions and read several extracts from the original tragedy so I am very familiar with the story, and when I saw the title of Infinite's new comeback song I wondered how it would relate to it. The video opens with an almost minute long intro (which I thought was the actual song at first and got very excited because it sounded great)  mostly made up the members running and covering their eyes from the blinding sunlight. I think the play with shadows, light and smoke effects make a very striking opening and sets the overall theme for the video just right. All the boys are seen with clear despair and agony on their faces, and you know straight away this won't be a happy journey.

Let's take a look at the plot of the video, shall we? This time, vocalist and official heart-thrower Woohyun stars as the main character, and he is seen walking around in a big, old library all by himself. It turns out he is searching for someone, and finds traces of this person spread out all over the place. Nothing much actually happens here, and Woohyun never gets to reunite with his lover. Their hands almost touch at one point when they stretch out their arms through bookcases, but that's as far as their interaction go. The main question is now, is she actually real or just a fraction of his imagination? If we look at the lyrics we see that it's the usual Infinite love story, and by that I mean a story of a man's obsession with a girlfriend or an ex-girlfriend. The lyrics often come across as somewhat desperate and also a bit unhealthy, and this song could really be interpreted either way. It's very passionate indeed, but it seems in the video as if Woohyun is no longer seeing his girlfriend, making the lyrics sound more on the creepy side. I can draw some parallels between the meaning of the song and the story of Romeo and Juliet, so I guess they managed to fulfill that purpose at least. Anyway, Woohyun starts to get angry and throw things around him and he ends up in a big empty space in the library as he looks around in panic and heartbreak as he realizes he won't find his girlfriend. At that time, everything literally blows up and the room is covered in books and paper sheets, symbolizing the final breakdown he experiences on the inside. The scene is actually not badly shot at all and it definitely works well with the final bridge and buildup in the song before the last chorus. Woohyun's acting, however, is not my favorite. I love the guy, I really do, but he should definitely stick to singing.

The rest of the video is mainly made up by dancing cuts, showcasing the group's sharp dancing skills as they display their choreography. I am a fan of the dance, but most of the moves seem very familiar and you can definitely tell they have hired the same person who have choreographed a lot of their other routines. You will find sharp angles and lots of rapid leg and arm movement, something that Infinite has done a lot before and masters well enough. If you're expecting them to be as synchronized as they were in their earlier days, you're in for a disappointment, but it's still pretty high compared to many other groups. I do like how in some parts of the choreo, they appear to be moving in units of three and three or three and four. Again, this is not anything new to these boys, but it creates a much more exciting viewing experience when there's different dynamics and movements working together to create a unity. And of course, who can resist the trot-inspired hip swing they do in the chorus, huh? I know I couldn't.

Like most Woolim videos, the general quality of everything is definitely high. What I like about Infinite's videos is that they mix things up quite a lot, and no video is really the other alike. I enjoy the use of the gothic sets, the cinematography, the dark colors and dim lightning. It always seems as if they put actual thought behind each video release, and makes a genuine effort to execute it as well as possible, which is of course appreciated as a fan. Sure, the plot may or may not always be a winner, but it doesn't really matter because it works anyway. All the elements come together to create an overall feeling and impression that translates well to the viewer. A lot of fans (me included) were worried that Infinite was going to loose their special color when the merge with SM Entertainment happened last year, but it looks as if there's nothing to worry about, thankfully. It appears that they still have the same creative team working in the group's video department, because so far there's no signs of any SM involvement. I am very happy about this, because then at least one of my bias groups can have good videos.

Ultimately, this is not Infinite's best release to date, but I still like it quite a lot and I appreciate their solid consistency. You can always count on this group to deliver their material and they've done a wonderful job building up their image and status over the years. This is another strong comeback with a good song and video, but it is unfortunately not as exciting as their earlier material. There's really nothing wrong, so to speak, but it's nothing we haven't seen before either. Infinite has found their niche and they stuck with it, for better or for worse, but you always know they will perform what they're given in a brilliant manner. Also, I do recommend watching their comeback stages because that's when they truly come to life, even more so than in the music video.

Song: 3,75/5
MV: 3,8/5

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