Mar 10, 2015

Return of the Legends - Shinhwa's "Sniper"

Shinhwa - WE

Shinhwa came back on February 26, which ultimately means I'm very late with this review and for that I apologize but time isn't always on my side, if you get my drift. Their MV for title track "Sniper" dropped right when I was at my busiest but I did have time to at least check it out, and that was a good move on my part.

There isn't much to be said about this video except that it's bloody gorgeous and by far their best video release since they started their own company, Shincom Entertainment. Everything about it screams perfection, as it is planned into the smallest detail and filmed with class and precision.

The premise is quite simple; the six members of the group are on a mission to win over hearts with their sharp shooting, as they're trying to seduce the various women featured in the video. The entire song is about this exact theme, as it's more than clear what they have their sight set on. As the video progresses the members are seemingly getting closer and closer to their assigned targets, but it's obvious that the focus is never on the women. The members of Shinhwa are the ones in control and in power, and the women, although drawn to them, are less active in the situation.

This could be because of various reasons, such as an opportunity for the fans to imagine themselves in the women's shoes or simply because the song isn't about the women but about the members. The masks and binds covering the women's eyes and entire faces could be seen as disrespectful and objectifying as they loose their individual identities and become mere props to act upon, but I think the creator's idea was to have Shinhwa as the center of the video and if that is so I would say mission accomplished. It's not a huge issue though, and fortunately it doesn't take away too much of the video's beauty. And man is this video beautiful.

Every single shot of the video is stunning. It doesn't matter where you pause because it's guaranteed to look beautiful, and that can't be said for most videos. The set designs are fantastic, quite frankly, although I'm not too sure how they're relevant (such as Dongwan's trashed kitchen or Junjin's ice room). However, it doesn't matter because they're still gorgeous to look at, and they definitely fit the mystical, eerie tone of the song itself. Every member has their own stage that's different. and depending on what it is the effects and coloring change as well. There's smoke, snow, fire and flashes of light as the color hue switches from a colder to a warmer and back again. The lightning effect during the dance sequences is also a huge positive factor, as it fades in and out as the members move in formation in their bright red suits that stand out perfectly against the monotone background.

As you can tell, this video is extremely pleasing from an aesthetic point of view, and I think anyone who watches it regardless of how they feel about Shinhwa will agree. Other highlights are, among many, the flawless choreography, the song that's truly one of a kind (in a good way), and of course the Shinhwa members themselves. It's easy to see how experienced they are by how they carry themselves, but also by this video as a whole. I feel like only a group with plenty of years behind them would know how to come up and release perfection such as this video as well as knowing how to portray themselves and the song's message in the sexiest yet classiest way possible.

Despite my previous praise though, this video actually isn't perfect but it's pretty darn close. I do wish the women had more active parts in the video and that it felt a bit more of a mutual agreement, but it's certainly not as bad as I've seen in other videos before. The aesthetic aspect is on the other hand quite impeccable, as every scene is visually impressive and engaging, and of course the members gracefully pull of the concept with ease. The song is amazing too and fits perfectly with the video, and it seems that once again we've witnessed that even though the members are well in their mid-thirties, they can still compete with and win over the new generation.

Song: 4/5
Video: 4,5/5

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