Video Review: Rita Ora “I Will Never Let You Down”

Filmed in black-and-white, a picture of Rita Ora gets dropped in a bin, swirling in the chemicals. In the photo, she moves her head from her shoulder and touches her arm to her neck and then rests her head into her hand.

At the photo shoot, she rolls her head back, closing her eyes. She bends forward and then back, running her hand over her neck again and then over her head. Her image then appears next to her, as she tilts her head up, smiling.

Changing her outfit, she walks to close to the camera and then points to it. Two other girls join her. She and the girls fold their arms to the chest, standing on their marks. They all jump and it changes to color, revealing a lime green background and Ora to be wearing a hot pink outfit. They strut down the studio. The two other girls swing their hair.

Inside a narrow hallway, she dances against the wall. Two other girls join her and it quickly flashes to color. The light flickers in the background. As she stands straight by the hall, her image divides. She walks to the door, throwing her jacket in the air while two girls dance by the stripes. When she is by herself, it switches to black-and-white. But once the girls join her, it’s color again.

Switching to color, her cherry red lips are the focus and then changes to black-and-white briefly. Returning to color, she kisses the camera, living a lip print on the lens. With her hand, she touches the print, smudging it some more.

Back at the photo shoot (still in black-and-white), about seven images of her fade into another while she bends backwards, gives an over-the-shoulder grin, looks back to the camera with a somber expression.

Against a hot pink background wrinkled curtain, she stands by a rain-streaked window, wearing a hunter green cap and matching jacket, with gold, dangling hoop earrings. She tips her hat. She shrugs and gives a nod of encouragement.

At the photo shoot, she sits sideways, her legs against her body, turning her head toward the camera. She kicks her leg up.

Against a shadowy background, (hinting at a bonfire), she and three other girls dance in silhouette under a midnight blue hue. A girl pirouettes.

Flashing to color briefly, she is wearing a rose hat on her head. But once she touches her chin, it changes back to black-and-white. She looks up, then down, and when she puts her hand to her face, its color again. It switches back for a second and then returns to color as she puts the material to her face before changing again.

In color, she kisses the lens again and she hugs the hallway. She looks back at the camera as she walks towards the door.

In black-and-white, (with the rose hat), she winks and smiles.

In color, she closes the door and leaves the room.

 

Rating: 3.5/5

The use of color is inventive, but jarring. Depending on the angle, the colors (despite their harshness) work. But on the whole, it becomes inconsistent.

For the photo shoot of only Ora, it remains black-and-white. It gives power to her expressions, reveling in her motion. Out of all the segments, it features her best. The other striking image is her cherry red lips. The bright color is a benefit, letting her be seductive and when she smudges the mark on the lens, it turns the cliché on the head.

The hallway scene, though, is the weakest. It’s better in color but in black and white, it’s unnecessary. It only gives it a seriousness that paired with her gaudy Moschino-clad outfit, is ridiculous. The rose hat scene had potential, but unfortunately it doesn’t help that it seems like it’s going to suffocate her at any second. When it changes to color, it emphasizes exactly how much material is on her head.

The window scene only begins to work once she begins gesturing and connecting with the lyrics. It is the only one that remains in color the entire time. But the harsh neon colors do distract at first, drawing attention to the muddied hunter green and blinding pink.

It deserves credit for trying something new, but the choice of when to make something black-or-white or color are puzzling, considering that there isn’t any pattern that develops.

Director: Francesco Carrozzini  Year: 2014

 

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