When it comes to recruiting external star power for music videos, it’s hard to beat K.Will. Although the balladeer rarely appears in his own music videos, he has invariably succeeded in getting known names, ranging from IU to U-Kiss’s Dongho, with some SNSD in between. His latest effort, “Please Don’t” is also no exception, featuring labelmate Dasom of SIstar, as well as man-of-the-moment Seo In-guk.
One thing commendable about the music videos though, was the cast. Instead of looking like they were obviously chosen for their star appeal, they always fitted nicely into the plots and told the story convincingly. So does the latest single pull it off?
The music video starts off with the couple in a car, which will be nicknamed “The Heartbreak Maserati”. After all, the same car — identical down to the licence plate — played host to a crying Dongwoon in Beast’s “I Knew It“. In this case though, the depressed one is Seo In-guk, as he clearly does not look like he is in the mood for Dasom’s teasing, and tries to brush her off.
The video then cuts to flashbacks showing how she is with his best friend (model Ahn Jae-hyun), about how the two of them are completely oblivious to Seo’s very conflicted emotions, and his feelings about Dasom.
Eventually, the emotions and the awkward slience in the Heartbreak Maserati reach a breaking point, and Seo pulls over. It is then that Twist No.1 gets revealed, that Dasom being in the car is just a figment of his imagination, and that he is alone in his frustrations.
The scenes in the car are cut nicely with events that happened earlier in the day, which was a wedding. As Seo sits alone in the car, he finally releases his pent up frustrations, and reveals the second twist in the story. The Music Video concludes with the Heartbreak Maserati stationary amongst flowing traffic, as the “ideal” pairing was shown, though that was definitely another imaginary situation.
What was particularly commendable was how the twists were nicely integrated into the story, without ever seeming jarring or thrown in to move the story along. This resulted in a music video that did not really insult the viewer’s intelligence or come across as clichéd.
There were also many times when the story could be expected to go with an equally logical (if more conventional) conclusion, so props to the director for keeping things nicely ambiguous all the way.
Speaking of nicely ambiguous, I also liked the concluding shot which left the nature of the relationship slightly open. While it was easy to conclude that there was an unrequited love at play, the nature of it was nicely left to interpretation by viewers. It could be seen as Seo hinting to his friend that he deserved better in his life, thus his misgivings, or that it could be Seo believing that he was the one.
Then again, given the creative minds of K-poppers, it could also be another link to Reply Me 1997.
As far as the scenes was concerned, there was little to complain about despite the generic settings. Far more interesting were the shots in the car, which made for interesting emotional play in a confined setting. One particular scene worthy of mention would be one where as Seo drives, Dasom has a window opening on her side to let the breeze in. This could be viewed on two levels. In one way, it could be seen as her trying to diffuse the tension in the car, but it could also be viewed as her completely not knowing what is going on (judging from the smile on her face).
Seo In-guk is the focal point for this video and he does not disappoint, with his nuanced, yet commendably natural expressions and emotions. Then again, given the recent acclaim for his acting, it was very much expected for him. While the rest of the cast might not have garnered that much attention, Ahn Jae Hyun is not too bad as far as first timers go, and Dasom is pretty much the surprise package here. While her looking pretty in the video is expected, another surprise would be her acting skills. Finally, she does seem to have some purpose in Idol-dom.
As for the song — while it definitely plays up to K.Will strengths, there are hints of a slight revamp to give it a fresher edge, which was just as well, given how his previous release “I Need You” came dangerously close to sounding like his prior hits. If K.Will’s older songs could be compared to reading a book by a favourite author and comfortably enjoying the story despite knowing where everything would be headed, “Please Don’t” would be the same experience, only that the story has taken on a few twists that help to keep things fresh, yet doesn’t alienate seasoned readers.
To sum up, “Please Don’t” is proof that fancy computer graphics and slick dances are not the be all and end all of music videos these days, and that sometimes, solid acting, a well written and shot story could make for equally compelling viewing. For this, and that the song was just an enjoyable listen, “Please Don’t” gets a commendable 4.5/5 from me.
So Seoulmates, what did you think of K.Will latest star-packed effort?