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!