Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review: Huh Gak (feat. BEAST’s Junhyung)–“I Told You I Want To Die”

The epic conclusion to a battle between our heroes and a local gang.

Did you like the song?
Huh Gak is back with his follow-up track to “Hello,” which I previously reviewed.

Oh, man. This song is so sad. The video didn’t really move me emotionally, but this song does. I feel like “Hello” was more of a traditional ballad with really heavy strings competing with Huh Gak’s voice, while “I Told You I Want To Die” sounds more modern in its minimalism (at least at the beginning of the song)—mostly voices and piano with light strings. And later it adds in drums and picks up a bit to allow Huh Gak to show off his range. So in terms of effectiveness in a mood-setting song, “I Told You I Want To Die” works better for me.

What was your favorite part of the song?
I love Huh Gak’s voice. So gorgeous. And he does falsetto beautifully! In fact, that was my favorite part of this video: the way he plays around in falsetto around the two minute mark.

Huh Gak I Told You I Want to Die

Huh Gak

Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
No English again, which seems par for the course with ballads.

Did you like the video?
Melodrama at its most melodramatic. But, you know, despite the stereotypical characters and pointlessly tragic ending, both MVs did a great job at keeping my interest and helping me amass clues to figure out what was going on. I would have appreciated it if Huh Gak at least had a cameo, though (unless he did and I just didn’t notice).

Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
(Wow, this storyline summary really got out of hand. Oops.) This music video is the second part of Huh Gak’s “Hello,” and the three actors, BEAST’s Junhyung, Lee Hyunjin, and Kang Sora, are back to finish up the storyline. In the first part, Junhyung and Hyunjin are best friends who got involved in some shady business with a gang, but then Hyunjin gets a girlfriend and a motorcycle and isn’t there for Junhyung when he needs him the most. As a result, Junhyung was beaten up by the local gang.

So this video kicks off by with Junhyung sitting somewhere looking like a pissed-off victim of domestic abuse. Hyunjin clearly showed up late and now gets the cold shoulder. Hyunjin gets upset because Junhyung is upset (aww, aren’t they cute) and storms off to take on the gang himself.

Huh Gak I Told You I Want to Die screen shot Jun hyung Hyun jin

Junhyung and Hyunjin.

Cut to Sora sitting at a bus stop laughing and smiling and singing to herself like a freakin’ lunatic. Seriously, if I saw her on the bench, I would wait to catch the next bus because I’d be wondering when she would snap.

Huh Gak I Told You I Want to Die screen shot Kang Sora

I have never seen anyone be this happy to be at a bus stop.

Anyway, Hyunjin clearly didn’t learn anything from Junhyung’s experiences in the last MV (probably because they did not talk to each other), because he does the exact same thing but worse. Lead pipe: check. Insane and suicidal odds (looks like 9 to 1 in this instance): check. Have a phone but it’s sitting in your pocket instead of calling the cops: check.

Huh Gak I Told You I Want to Die screen shot Hyun jin

Yup, this seems like a swell idea. Suddenly the title of this MV starts to make sense.

But in a move that defies all logic, Hyunjin somehow takes out seven gang members with his lead pipe. And then—yay, hero moment!—Junhyung shows up! Because they can somehow read each other’s minds. That is some epic bromance. Anyway, I was hoping they’d fight together, but Hyunjin goes off after the main baddie while Junhyung takes his right-hand henchman.

Huh Gak I Told You I Want to Die screen shot gang

Junhyung & Hyunjin vs. Main Baddie & Henchman.

The main baddie tries to give Hyunjin his wallet, but Hyunjin doesn’t want your money, fool! You can’t put a price on the satisfaction of beating someone to a pulp! BUT THEN (dun dun dun) Hyunjin sees a picture of his girlfriend, Sora, in main baddie’s wallet. So she’s his daughter, I’m guessing. That probably explains her suicidal tendencies.

Huh Gak I Told You I Want to Die screen shot wallet photo actually daughter

Must be tough to get boyfriends if you’re the daughter of a mob boss.

Long story short, both boys get stabbed, and finally the cops show up despite the fact that I’m sure no one called them.

Hyunjin has been making bad decisions over the entire course of this music video and the previous one, so what’s one more? For some reason, instead of waiting for an ambulance, he gets on his motorcycle—while, you know, literally bleeding to death from his forehead despite being stabbed in the back—and rides to the bus stop where Sora is waiting…and, predictably, crashes on the way there.

Huh Gak I Told You I Want to Die screen shot Hyun jin blood

This is a responsible life decision! ^_^

Then he looks up to see that she’s gone and only her motorcycle helmet remains.

My personal interpretation:
Remember in the very first scene when the guys save Sora from jumping off a building to her death? My theory: they didn’t.

Yup, she actually fell to a messy death. The guys were so traumatized by witnessing firsthand this pointless waste that Junhyung decided to confront the gang that had destroyed his father’s livelihood and Hyunjin had a kind of breakdown with hallucinations that he was with the girl who had jumped. He imagined that he and Sora were together forever.

When he finally emerges from his hallucinations, he does one last meaningful thing by fighting beside Junhyung. But then he gets stabbed and dies there in the gang territory. His “crossing over” is when he’s on the motorcycle, and he goes to where Sora is waiting for him at the “bus stop,” or basically stairway to heaven. Then the two motorcycle helmets together symbolize them being together in the afterlife.

Maybe a bit far-fetched, but that’s what I’ve got. :)

Huh Gak I Told You I Want to Die screen shot motorcycle helmets symbolism meaning

Together at last.

TL;DR: don’t mess with gangs.

Was the dance cool and distinctive?
No dance except the fight choreography (and cool wire tricks), which was okay but filmed kind of strangely in a way that made it harder to see. Like, they deliberately made the fight slow-motion and blurry. On second thought, it might have been filmed in a way that somewhat mimicked Hyunjin’s reeling brain after being beaten around the head a few times, but it was still frustrating. Don’t blur the good parts!

Do the members look good?
Well, Sora looks great! But the guys aren’t faring so well in this one. It’s because of the plot, which requires them to have nasty injuries galore. Again I was impressed by the extent of their injuries that we as an audience could see.

Huh Gak I Told You I Want to Die screen shot motorcycle helmets symbolism meaning

Gruesome injuries.

Which member stood out the most?
I felt that Hyunjin stood out the most in the previous video, but this time I liked Junhyung’s attitude. And the “hero moment” when he appeared out of nowhere really made me cheer for the guys and their epic bromance.

Huh Gak I Told You I Want to Die screen shot motorcycle helmets symbolism meaning

Junhyung and Hyunjin.

Do you like it enough to buy the song?
I do like the song, though still not enough to get it. But it’s impressive stuff, Huh Gak.

Any ending thoughts?
In case you don’t already know, Kang Sora is “married” to Super Junior’s Leeteuk in the TV show “We Got Married.” Aww.

Also, BEAST’s Junhyung has now been featured in four music videos recently, and only one of them is from BEAST, lol. Anyway, I’m a fan, so I’m pleased.

Boyfriend’s one-liner:
“Couldn’t you have taken her home before you went to fight the gang members?”

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment, subscribe and request a review if you’d like. :)

P.S. Why can’t U.S. legislators do something actually worthwhile with their time? Why must we have to point out to them that this is a ridiculously short-sighted move? Sigh.

<< Go to Part 1, “Hello”

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