Video Review: DJ Snake & Bipolar Sunshine “Middle”

In the introduction, comic strip drawings decorate a bedroom. One of the drawings show a young with a black mask with a red upside down v on his face. Stacks of comic books are on an end table. More drawings hang from a string on a ceiling.

A young man (Josh Hutcherson) sits at a booth, wearing a hoodie and examining his bread that he ate into a v shape. Two guys turn around and gawk at him, whispering about how the weird guy playing with his food. He turns around, frowning. He knows what they are saying. Everyone thinks he’s a freak. He pours alcohol into his coffee and checks the time. He sees the smiley face and thinks it’s a joke.

Flashes of light get his attention and he looks outside the window. There, a young woman (Kiersey Clemons) emerges from smoke. She turns her head right and then meets the young man’s gaze. He sees her, with her face painted with splotches of white and smears of black makeup cascading down her face and goggles on top of her blonde, spiked hair. He has finally found someone like him. She cocks her head and then breathes heavy with excitement. He looks back inside the diner and returns his gaze to her. He isn’t sure.

She gives him an adoring smile. He isn’t afraid.

In the street, he plays with his numchuk like a baton and shoots up in the air. Awed by his ability, she flies with him. They run in the street, laughing. A group of guys exchange strange looks with each other. They fly up in the air again. As they run in the street, a guy typing on his laptop begins to film them.

He takes her to his home, the comic book store. There, they jump from building to building. They sit on the fire escape and talk, holding hands. Taking his hand, they sneak by the door of his building and have sex.

Afterwards, they talk some in his shower. Then, she leans her body against his. She is amazed by his talent while she looks up at the ceiling. Each comic strip representing a chapter of his life. As they lay in bed next to each other, they stare each other.

The next morning, he wakes up and she’s gone. He notices his window is open and looks out, seeing if she’s somewhere below. In a panic, he looks in every nook and cranny of the neighborhood. He walks past a man on the bench. Angry, he stops at a mural and begins to throw trash around. He sits on the pavement, putting his head into his hands.

On the corner, he watches the signal change from the stick figure walking, to the hand and then to his symbol. His expression firm, he attempts to fly. However, he can’t find his balance and crashes the window of a car.

The passengers in the back seat shake from the impact. The young woman (Clemons), as her everyday persona, and the man share a glimpse of recognition. He looks to her for her an explanation, some reason why she left. Seeing the extent of his hurt and pain touches her. Her boyfriend is curious, wondering what’s causing her to be upset.

He crawls off the car, holding onto his arm and returns back home. Sitting in the corner, his shoulders shake while he cries. The young woman (now in her superhero persona) pops up behind him. He can’t believe she came back.

Standing against a wall, she takes off his mask and begins to remove his makeup with a cloth. Nervous, he lets her pull back strands of his hair to reach his forehead and get the makeup from underneath his nose. He looks at her, completely vulnerable. She turns him towards his mirror. It’s the first time he’s seen his true face.

 

Rating: 5/5

Identity is a theme explored in detail in the video. For the young man, all he is known is his superhero persona. He doesn’t know how to be anything else. People reject him since he’s different. It’s made him quiet, scared and defensive. It’s caused loneliness in his life. He can’t relate to anyone because he’s never known anyone like him before.

The young woman has the opposite experience. She has hidden her superhero persona. She wants to be fit into the mainstream and be accepted. If she lets people know, they will think she’s lost it. At night, she will lurk and discreetly perform some of her moves. But when she sees the young woman, she wants to help him and show him that there is someone like him. She admires him for being himself.

However, she’s not ready to fully accept her superhero self and leaves him the next day, devastating him in the process. Finally, he has found someone who cares and loves him. But she’s gone. He simply doesn’t care.

Feeling guilty and ashamed for leaving him, she shows up again and wants to show him that’s okay to be his human self. It’s a part of himself he needs to accept. With a silent look, she tells him it’s okay.

Through the course of five minutes, the two characters are given enough development to become actual real people. They are not caricatures of superheroes stylized to quick cuts and fast music. They are struggling with who they are.

Director: Collin Tilley  Year: 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvPT2QuCIOA

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