Man Down by Rihanna

20 Jun

I really love this song.

I first heard about it on Yahoo, where it was garnering controversy for having violence; a man is shot in the opening scene, and blood is shown. I went on Youtube and watched the video, and I have to say I completely disagree. Music videos now a days always have some inappropriateness; if girls can dance in bikinis why can’t a man pretend to die? In those videos they use that kind of appeal to get cheap views; but what I admire about Rihanna’s new video is the compelling and touching story behind it. I don’t want to ruin your experience, so please watch the video before reading further.

The video starts with the shooting, and even in the first few scenes you can see raw emotion in Rihanna’s face. I love how real the look of torment was, and you can almost see the conflicting emotions her character is feeling. Later on they reveal how she was sexually assaulted by the man she later kills. The lyrics tell of how she feels guilty and regrets what she did, and I love how it brings up these questions inside of you about what is morally right or wrong. Rihanna’s expressions throughout are amazingly realistic, and even haunting at some points. You can really feel guilt and anguish at some points and pain and fear at others. The video brings attention to the issue of assault in a compelling way, and I really liked the portrayal of the whole story.

Regarding the actual song, I love the kind of Jamaican feel to it. It’s great how she utilizes her natural accent to give it that nice native sort of sound. It’s a very good song by itself, and with the video it becomes an emotional powerhouse. I think the thing I loved the most about it is the revealing of the ‘mystery’. I know, the whole flashback thing to reveal the story is a little overused, but it was used perfectly in the way they did. I love when you’re shown a scene and can’t really make sense of it, but when they show you the back-story, the scene is suddenly powerful and emotional. Normally when you see someone murdering a person, you automatically assume that they are the ‘bad guy’; the evil character. But then you later see how she was the actual victim, and even acknowledges that she did a bad thing. It really shocked me when I saw that things weren’t as they had seemed, and I think that’s the part that touched me the most. And in the scenes where she is attacked, it feels like Rihanna’s eyes are speaking to you when it cuts to her in the water. It almost as if they’re saying, ‘Now you see why I did it? He hurt me and I felt defenseless; he had to pay.’

Maybe I’m a little too into the video, but for some reason it really got to me. It’s my new favorite Rihanna song, although that isn’t saying much because none of her previous songs were particularly awesome. They’re all good pop/party songs, but this one actually had a message. So what are your opinions on the music video? And do you think anything justifies murder? Let me know!

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4 Responses to “Man Down by Rihanna”

  1. element119 June 26, 2011 at 8:46 AM #

    Well, its good that you are looking at things more deeply and that you see a message. I personally was reminded of the philosophy of determinism, how we are determined to do things (in this case murder someone) because of previous outside influences (in this case sexual assault). I am also relieved to see that music today is being a little deeper than its usual shallow self :p
    Murder? that by its own definition implies crime so the question should be whether it is justifiable to kill someone or not. I will say yes to that, I will say yes to oppressors who enforce their power on others and know full well how angry and defensive they make people….

    • lightningflash2 July 31, 2011 at 9:19 PM #

      That is a very good interpretation! I’m also glad that Rihanna brought this message, especially since she’s the one who has given us songs with horrible lyrics like S&M and Rude Boy. It’s also very interesting to question how the punishment should be less or more severe depending on the circumstances of the murder. Thank you for your comment, and sorry for such a late reply!

  2. lorelai18 September 11, 2011 at 10:02 AM #

    Thank you very much for this post, it’s reminding us of quite a serious matter, in reviewing a music video! I really liked the video, and I think I couldn’t watch it ever again without thinking of all those things you’ve interpreted with it. I really like the music though, it makes a refreshing change to the other sort of music she writes.
    On the subject of death, I’m not really bias. It can’t really be justified, but can be excused for a strong motive like Rhianna’s.
    On a lighter note, I really love your blog, and have read quite a lot of your posts, I wondered if you would like to visit mine : http://mistakemorning.wordpress.com/
    Thank you x

    • lightningflash2 September 11, 2011 at 2:09 PM #

      Thanks, I’m glad you liked it! I really appreciate your comments ^_^
      I’m gonna head over to your blog right now! 😀

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