Now, everyone thinks they know kpop because of Psy’s viral video of Gangnam Style. I remember back when I first got into kpop in 2002 or so, people thought they knew kpop because of a heart wrenching music video by the group KISS…not the rock band. They were a three member female group that put out the song, Because I’m a Girl, in 2001.
This 8분 music video drama had an easy to follow storyline. This post describes the important parts of the video and questions some aspects but it might be faster read than watching, so pick your poison.
A male photographer accidentally captures a salon worker in a picture. Before the days of digital camera, developing film was a thing. Ironically, they run across each other when he visits the salon she’s working at. She immediately recognizes him and decides to take him on as a customer without his knowledge. As she’s washing his hair, she accidentally gets the shampoo in his eye.
They meet again, seeing that he left his hat at the salon (I’m not even sure how she got his contact information, unless they had forms to fill out with your info which salons do here in the US. I’m not sure if Korea does the same), he finally recognizes who she is.
Note: his assistant.
And sure enough, “While you’re here, lemme take pictures of you! Because we’re totally strangers and you found my studio. You totally owe it to me because you got soap in my eye and that really stung.” He probably didn’t say this, but you get the idea.
Later on, he receives a phone call from her and he goes to pick her up. Young children will never understand this simple thing, “flip phones are distracting and will ruin your life.” He puts away the film developer solution on a shelf, uncapped because he needs to rush to see his hair caretaker. (I wish I could give them names. This he/she thing is annoying. Please tolerate it like I am.)
Of course it’s raining when he goes to meet her. Since they’re young (er maybe not so much) and in love (questionable), she likes the idea of sharing an umbrella in the rain with your potential lover. Except… he totally crushed that dream by bringing his own umbrella and now she’s pissed, walking away getting soaked in the rain. It’s either one umbrella or none at all.
To express their, what we hope is love at this point, she arts and crafts a picture of them together, her kissing him. Seeing that he’s obsessed with her at the moment, his assistant gets sick of being the third wheel and oblivious to anything, the two love birds can’t seem to understand why. “Ah whatever, he’ll get over it.”
“Now that he’s gone, take pictures of me!” Except his film runs out. Being the loving and caring girlfriend he is, she tells him, “No, I’ll get it.” Brace yourselves, plot device is coming.
Hope you didn’t forget about the flip developer solution because he sure did (and she wouldn’t have known). Pretty sure there’s a label they says, AVOID CONTACT WITH EYES. But whoops, she must have not seen that part. So in getting the film, she knocks over the bottle, which the liquid pours out and in her eyes. She’s rushed to the ER.
Now here’s where the music video starts to mess with your emotions. This part seems to be like payback. She accidents gets shampoo in his eye in the video. Because of his error, she gets a highly chemical substance in her eyes. Only problem is… chemicals are more deadly than shampoo. When something is about to go down, there’s flashbacks of the happy times together.
He sees the picture she pieced of them together and separates them because what happened is his fault. The third wheel, I mean the assistant comes back, assuming after he hears about what happened. In an attempt to comfort him (which obviously he’s jealous that this woman got between them and their work), the assistant brushes him off. He doesn’t feel sorry for her and probably thinks, “she deserves what happens to her.” But there’s a double meaning.
EXCEPT HE’S NOT EXACTLY COMFORTING FROM FOR THAT. I hope you’re hugging yourself because it gets worse.
Post-surgery, she opens her eyes and yay! She can see. Obviously it wasn’t that serious and there was nothing to worry about. Clearly, the assistant’s non-verbal isn’t a dead give away.
She just thinks, “he’s a bad guy to up and leave me like that,” so generic movie watching, ice cream eating, and crying.
THE ASSISSTANT. PAY ATTENTION TO HIM.
Keep those arms around yourself.
So at the race track, which was one of the memories they had (wasn’t important to talk about), she goes back and sees someone that looks like the guy who she met by chance oh so long ago. He’s wearing all black, sunglasses, and has a nice dog playing fetch with him. Something falls from the seat next to him and it’s a picture. It lands in front of her feet and you can see him feeling around for it. When she looks at it, it’s a picture of her.
Now, if for some reason, you didn’t understand the plot on the following points:
She’s able to see
The assistant was cold towards her, but suddenly is acting friendly
Where the love of her life went
The music video is nice enough to explain that all now.
After the the flash back of memories, it’s clear he’s made a decision about the situation they’re in. He tells the assistant what he’s going to and take care of her/the studio, etc. I’m sure the assistant tried to reason with him, but because he loves her so much, he feels this is the only thing he can do for her. He shrugs his boss off not because of the girl, but because he can’t change his mind (or maybe not understand why he…)
What is he going to do?
Give her his eyes.
He goes back to the hospital to tell the doctors of his decision. Right before the surgery begins, he takes one last look at his love before his world succumbs to darkness. In the end, she realizes what he’s done and this causes her to break down and cry. So to her he seemed like a bad ex-lover to just up and left for her to suffer alone, while he gave up his gift of sight for her because he loves her.
Two things to note, but one to consider:
1. The fact he’s wearing all black
2. Why she doesn’t call out to him in the end?
I’m sure the all black is an allusion not because of him losing his eyesight. It’s losing the ability to see her beauty. Of course he might have been obsessed with capturing her in front of the camera, but he lost the ability to do that and capture it with his own eyes. It’s less of a sense of he lost everything the moment he lost her. That and even if she did call out to him and he recognized her, there’s no way he would forgive himself for what he’s done. You could probably call the darkness his own personal hell. He blames himself for what happened, as punishment, gives up his sight. He took that away from her initially and it’s the only way he can make this wrong, right.
Why didn’t she say anything in the end? That’s what I want to know your thoughts on. Feel free to leave a comment so we can talk about it. And any theories you might have come up with, share them too!