The age-old story of the guy-girl-guy love triangle rears its head again in Davichi’s MV for “Again”, or as translated from its Korean title, “Meeting After Breaking Up.” While the lyrics of the song express the heartache of an on-and-off relationship rather poignantly in their simplicity, the MV itself does not do the lyrics justice as the plot feels rather tangential to the subject matter of the song.
The MV begins with the three main leads in monochrome while a female narrates in voiceover about how the three of them were always together like one, which then segues into the actual MV. The female lead (Seunghee of F-ve Dolls) is joined by the two male leads (labelmates Sangwon and Taemin), and from then on, just to hammer the point home, any shot featuring all three always has Seunghee sandwiched in the middle to emphasise the (weirdly) co-dependent relationship between the three that dominates the first half of the MV. In what seems to be the classic scenario in such cases, Taemin’s character appears to harbour a crush on Seunghee’s character, who is already happily in a relationship with Sangwon’s character.
With the “couple ring dropping into the fish bowl” shot to bookend the portion of the MV showcasing the happier times when the Seunghee-Sangwon couple were still together, the couple breaks up for reasons not made clear in the MV. Seunghee proceeds to cut her hair and work in a bar with Taemin in a scene of relative domestic bliss, although a lingering shot of a picture of the trio serves as unsubtle foreshadowing that Sangwon would reappear again, which he does. Apparently unhappy that Seunghee and Taemin appear to be doing well without him, he leaves again in a huff.
The duo give chase, and it is only near the end of the MV that the first real emotional beat occurs, when Taemin reaches out for Seunghee, only for her to rebuff him and continue chasing after Sangwon. The MV then loops back into a flashback of happier times, and this time both Sangwon and Taemin disappear from Seunghee’s side as she walks down an alleyway in a contrast to the opening shot where both join her. The final shot of the MV leaves us with a shot of the trio standing on a rooftop, where Seunghee leans her head on one of the guys’ shoulders while the other appears isolated.
In this case, while the MV is not outright incoherent, it nevertheless leaves the feeling of having deviated from the song itself — while the song revolves around the repeated ‘break up then make up’ of the couple in question, which is quite neatly reflected in the repetitions of the phrase throughout the song, the MV itself is much less clear about it. Unless the MV instead means to focus on the waxing and waning of the friendship between the trio following the ups and downs of the relationship of the couple within the trio, having the third party always feeling like a third wheel while caught in the throes of an unrequited love appears to be the plot line for another song entirely. Again, it is only at the end when Seunghee makes the choice to chase after Sangwon while leaving Taemin behind that we see a consequence to their break-up (and probable make-up)–Taemin’s broken heart, while even in earlier scenes of the couple’s relationship, Taemin’s exclusion is not as apparent.
In all, having the trio rather than the couple in question as the main focus of the MV felt rather like superimposing another well-known trope, the love triangle, over the actual focus of the song, where the persona is afraid of falling out of love into indifference after being caught in an endless cycle of break-up-make-up. With such rich potential to mine in terms of plot, it is rather a pity that the MV ends up re-using a tired plot, and not using it well at that.
MV rating: 2.75/5
(Images via CCM Entertainment, YouTube)