Depending on how things ended in your last relationship, you hold certain memories of that person. You may remember all of the cuddles and kisses, or you could dwell on the fights and tears, but most times there is an intersectionality that occurs between these memories. You might recall an argument that was later resolved through an apology. It could also be the reverse with you remembering a wonderful date going horribly awry. The point is one can’t always separate the good and bad memories of a relationship because they are intertwined. You hold on to everything, regardless of whether things were beautiful or ugly.
That’s the main premise behind the MV for Day6‘s “You Were Beautiful”. This is your stereotypical story line of someone reminiscing about a failed relationship. The melody of the song is lovely, but the video does little to save it from sounding like a regular sob song.
We start off the video with a woman watching snippets of her old self through the lens of her former boyfriend. It’s kind of a strange way to introduce this story given how most times we’re used to shots of the forlorn lover crying over a photo album. I’m thankful that the director is up to date with how technology is used in modern relationships, which we observe here by the absence of the picture-keeping relic. I enjoy nostalgia, but we’re dealing with young characters here. They’re going through old Instagram snaps at best, not a physical scrapbook.
Going back to the note about the point of view, it’s sort of unique for the reason I mentioned earlier. We’re not watching the ex-boyfriend pining over old video clips; we’re watching the woman watching herself through his perspective. It’s unrealistic to think that she somehow possesses telepathy and can read her ex’s mind, so that’s why the use of an email containing videos of her from him is a great way to integrate his viewpoint.
Because the woman can see what he saw, there’s a different emotional tie to the relationship now. She is reliving his old thoughts of her; therefore, gaining an alternate perspective on how things were when they were dating. Normally, we’d see only one side and experience dramatic irony in knowing that the other person had no idea what her ex was thinking. Since she’s viewing his side of things, we’re connected to another line of thought: How did he see her when he loved her?
As she watches his memories on her computer, we can see that he viewed her quite positively. Most of the time she’s smiling at him while doing something adorable. A soft filter enhances the ethereal feel of these memories, portraying the woman in an angelic light. To him, his ex-girlfriend was a precious goddess. As the ex-girlfriend views his thoughts, she becomes overcome with a bittersweet joy. Why could this be?
Our answer shows up later as scenes of their relationship ending play in monochrome. This is an effective way to symbolize what parts were happy versus sad. All of the bright memories played in pastel tones with a halo filter while the negative moments were monochromatic with a sharp contrast. This method probably isn’t original, but it works for the video. It keeps the storytelling very clear.
Something that did bother me, however, was when the ex-boyfriend started appearing in his own memories. This took me out of watching through the woman’s eyes because now it looks like a stereotypical home movie. Sadly, this part lost me for that reason. It was far more interesting to feel his experience through her eyes watching his memories. I wish the director stuck to the original idea of her watching his perspective, rather than removing us from their intertwined emotional connection by taking down the fourth wall. Mentally, it was a little jarring, so I was disappointed in that.
This MV did boost the appeal of the song, but the director’s inconsistency with the storytelling failed it a bit. The song doesn’t compare to Day6’s smashing debut “Congratulations“, which is most likely why I also felt somewhat let down by it. Respectfully, I love what Day6 brings to the table for bands, so it’s unfortunate they have a song that sounds like it could’ve easily been given to another group and had the same feeling. Other than the lovely vocal harmonies, though, I didn’t get a sense that this was a signature Day6 song. It was a breakup song sung by Day6, nothing more or less.
Overall, I liked the video because it did match the vibe of the song, yet it just stopped short of being better because the director was inconsistent. It started off original with the unusual framing of viewpoints, but it fell back into a cliched form of storytelling midway. Had that not occurred, I may have appreciated the video more. It’s not the worst thing from Day6, and it’s not their best. It’s a decently made video, so there’s not much more to say than that.
MV rating: 3/5
(YouTube, Images via JYP Entertainment)