Monday, October 11, 2010

Backup Dancers From Hell: One Republic - “Secrets”

We start off with a woman in a trench-coat thing rudely jaywalking across a suspiciously un-busy city street in some downtown area. It’s either very overcast or very smoggy, so the rest of the population might be inside their homes, trying to breathe. The woman gets to the other side of the street and touches her hair sadly, which causes the screen to go black. (That’s some powerful hair.)

Cut to One Republic performing in some big room where the walls are composed of giant dirty sheets, so we can understand that everybody’s kind of moody today. Quick shots of the lead singer, then the other band members playing their instruments. These people are clearly not happy.

Back to the woman, who has arrived at a cute little restaurant with tables outside. No one else is there, so she’s either really early or the food is terrible. She and her trench-coat take a seat and wait to see if anybody actually shows up to take her order.

Back to the band, with everybody still looking morose and the lead singer refusing to look at the camera. (What has he done that he’s so embarrassed about? Did it involve farm animals and/or outfits with lots of shiny buckles and a strategic bits of clothing removed?)

Back to the restaurant with Unnamed Woman (let’s call her Greta) sitting at her table. A serving wench finally wanders up, holding out a menu, and Greta does an odd Wiccan hand movement to indicate her desires, which includes the wench removing the empty glass on the other side of the table. The wench snatches the glass and then runs off to neglect other patrons.

We have the band performing again, and now the lead singer has discovered that if he hides behind the giant, billowing dirty curtain, we can see him in silhouette. The first time he does this, he looks oddly pregnant, so there might be a lot more going on here than we realize. The drummer doesn’t care, and continues to bang out the beat.

The restaurant again, with Greta being served both a glass of champagne and what looks like a gin and tonic, so she’s either a speed drinker or an alcoholic. She doesn’t seem very inspired about the double beverages, so there might not be any way we can stop her from a downward spiral into endless depression. This happens when you wear trench-coats and jaywalk.

More of the band singing the song, even though the lead singer still refuses to face the camera. More shots of Greta being dissatisfied. Oh wait. A few tables behind Greta, we can see the lead singer with his hand covering an empty glass. Perhaps he doesn’t want to drink, knowing that Greta is keeping the bartender busy with her double-fisted consumption.

This goes on for a while, with Greta at one table and the lead singer at another, neither of them having any fun and looking very distraught about pointless things that we don’t understand. Then the lead singer disappears, probably because the rest of the band is getting a little irritated that he ran out in the middle of a slow-jam session.

Whoops, he’s back at the restaurant, proving that he has special magical abilities and putting a whole different spin on things. Then he’s with the band again, so I’m thinking maybe I should just ride this out and quit trying to think of witty things to say until the lead singer decides where he really wants to be.

So we go into this long montage of various scenes, with Greta sad at her table, the lead singer alternating between shadow play with the band and toying with Greta at the restaurant, and Greta diddling with her napkin, doing some sort of linen origami. (It’s probably not necessary that I should mention that none of this is making any sense.)

Oh look, now Greta is fed up with whatever, and is stomping away from her table. (It doesn’t appear that she left a tip, so in support of food servers everywhere we must hate her even if she’s pretty.) Greta heads out into the streets of this unnamed city, and during her stroll she passes the lead singer. Neither of them appear to notice each other, even though we know they are intimately connected in some mystical way, so it’s not clear if they have amnesia or if this is one of those spy movies where bitter people do torturous things to each other in the name of international justice and then pretend that they didn’t really do anything.

Quick shot of the lead singer standing near a lamppost and singing, still avoiding the camera even though we’ve already seen his entire face and could easily pick him out in a police lineup. In the distance, we can see Greta trying to cross a street against the light and narrowly avoiding death from an impatient black car. That girl needs to pay attention or she’s never going to be happy. Or alive.

More montage, with Greta still stomping about the city and angry about the developments in her life, and the lead singer unable to stay in one place, transporting between the quickly-getting-boring jam session in the room with the stupid window treatments and various locations on the city streets where he watches Greta in her forlorn quest to walk herself to death. (If she can’t figure out by now that she’s being stalked, then she deserves to wear drab clothing and not have satisfactory dining experiences at trendy but deserted restaurants.)

Suddenly, Greta turns a corner and is heading down an alley. There’s no one around, so she’s not in any immediate danger, but she decides that this is not her career path and she turns back around. (She’s really flighty, this girl.) The lead singer watches her go, but still does nothing, because the script clearly says that he should remain aloof but watchful.

Wait, we’re back at the restaurant, and some guy we don’t know is fiddling with Greta’s origami napkin. He’s also pawing her unfinished glass of champagne. (Some people really don’t understand the concept of person space. Granted, she left without tipping anybody, but still, you don’t mess with other people’ things, even in unnamed cities where the sun never shines and the citizens don’t pay enough attention to detail.)

Well, there goes Greta jaywalking again, then she re-enters the restaurant and spies the new man playing with her props. She pauses and considers her next move. The lead singer wanders up and whispers something into her ear, words that appear to be the line “all my secrets away” from the song. Greta understands this whispered warning much more than we do, and she turns away, leaving the restaurant and probably planning to jaywalk again, because she’s too busy avoiding confrontational situations to pay attention to pedestrian regulations.

The song ends with New Man still piddling around with the napkin, the lead singer wandering off to who knows where, and Greta once again stomping the city streets, possibly smiling at her latest decision, but it’s really unclear. The final shot is of a pigeon taking flight.

No idea.

So the moral of the story is…. be indecisive about the men in your life and where you want to eat, and eventually you can fly. Got it.


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