Boa has been killing 2018 with all of her new songs and music videos, and “One Shot Two Shot” is no exception. “One Shot Two Shot” is a catchy electro-swing song with smooth verses that connect well to the synth-laden chorus. While the music video for “Nega Dola” was felt more quirky and playful with punchy colors and upside-down shots of Boa, “One Shot Two Shot” feels more deliberate and thoughtful, and it’s visually compelling.
At first glance, the video doesn’t seem to be very involved, but that’s not the case. It works along side the song in a way that isn’t obvious, but is still compelling. Boa has her own signature style in terms of music and videos, and the “One Shot Two Shot” video breaks away from that style a little bit, in the best way possible.
While there is no sort of story or plot, the video toggles between Boa dancing with her backup dancers in a white room and Boa with a man in a subway. From what plot is presented at first, a man in a suit and briefcase is getting off of a dark and color-less subway, looking beaten down and exhausted. The camera is out of focus and follows the blurred hunch of his shoulders as he walked on the platform. There’s a brief shot of the man’s feet sort of floating over the air, but just barely. It’s as though he can’t muster the energy to really move. But across on another platform, Boa is standing and milling around, dressed casually as she plays on her phone. She flashes him a knowing sort of smile, and the camera pans out to show the both of them on their separate platforms, physically separated but with an intangible sort of connection between them.
Boa starts dancing, and the camera tracks it in slow-motion, cutting to shots of her boots. The camera pans behind the man, and the audiences sees Boa through the same angle as the man, her stance feminine but also unabashedly confrontational. The man starts dancing as well and the subway lights start to explode, showering sparks down. The man jumps across the tracks to dance with Boa, and as the song ends, Boa makes a finger gun and presses it into the man’s abdomen. There’s a shooting noise, and the man collapses as Boa walks off. After Boa exits the frame, the man wakes up when he hears the subway announcement, and stumbles off, looking thoroughly dazed.
Between these shots subway shots, are shots of Boa with her backup dancers. She’s dressed in a sort of 80’s styleromper, from rich red velvet to a sparkling kaleidoscope of colors, with high heeled boots. It adds a layer of playfulness to the video. The dance is highly symmetrical and incorporates a lot of moves that are based around angular shapes and formation. It’s different from the style of dancing in the subway, which is much more fluid and amorphous: the contrast between the more intense colors of the dancing scenes and the relative monochromatic color scheme in the subway, along with the dancing styles is jarring in the best way.
The lack of plot is compensated by the style of which the video is shot in. The solo shots pan out to keep the audience in context of location and distance: asymmetric shots indicate loneliness and solitude, and distance implies a sort of omniscient point of view, where the objects of the scene are focused solely in a single moment. The man and Boa are constantly being shot from behind, so that the audience sees the other person through the perspective of the man or Boa. The subway scenes are shot in a way that allows the audience to “experience” the same sort of energy and dancing that Boa and the man are being exposed to.
The use of slow-motion, the sparks, and the camera being out of focus at times works in tandem with the song. “One Shot Two Shot” is about a moment of intense infatuation: it is about how someone can experience such intense feelings at a single moment for a single person. The moment is so brief, but time slows down and every detail is so vivid, yet so hard to recall.
The slow-motion dancing forces the audience to be present and to experience that moment with Boa and the man. The out-of-focus camera mirrors the experience of being unable to recall every single detail, but to cling onto the remaining snapshots that are important. The fierce brightness of the sparks is meant to symbolize the intensity of those feelings, an how fleeting they are, despite how intense they initially can be. Sometimes, you can fall in love for a minute with a beautiful stranger in the subway, and they leave you feeling like you’ve just been shot.
(Images via SM Entertainment, Video via YouTube)