Video Review: Kelly Clarkson “Piece By Piece”

In black-and-white, Kelly Clarkson has a far off stare, as the wind gently blows a piece of hair by her face. The hurt still raw, she can see her father leaving, suitcases in both hands, and telling them goodbye. His cowardice disgusts more so than when she was younger.

A father and daughter hold hands. He swings his hand lightly. The father unfolds his hand from his daughter’s and goes. The daughter reaches out to him.

A rose, with water dripping on its petals, which was one of the most recent gifts she received from father. Meanwhile, a door slams.

She puts her hands near her head, the rejection stinging from when she visited her father and he told her to go away. Stars sparkle around her.

A little girl dangles her teddy bear by the arm, cold and numb from the heartbreak that her father didn’t want anything to do with her.

A protective mother looks into the camera, determined to not to let any member of her family be wounded by him again.

Another mother closes her eyes and then opens them, determined to break the cycle. But she wipes a tear away from her face, upset that the baby’s father wants no part of her or his child. Another woman rubs her hands over face, scared that her baby won’t know its father. Another mother looks up, wanting to know her baby will be loved and welcomed in the world.

She brushes a strand of hair from her face, somewhat recovered from the pain, explaining that she has found a better example of a father in her life.

The tearful little girl wonders why her daddy doesn’t love her anymore. She rubs her face after crying.

A woman sobs while another has grown cynical, believing all men aren’t worth it. As stars shine, a woman puts her hands on her shoulder.

She thinks of the roses and flowers, which her father has sent to her, congratulating her on her success. She thinks it took a lot of nerve and that by becoming famous, he sees her as someone worth caring about.

The girl watches the sky above, pointing to a falling star. She watches, amazed that the stars are moving together, forming their constellation.

A pregnant woman cradles her bump while touching a falling star as another woman rubs her exposed stomach and looks above.

She looks up to the camera, relieved to be away from her father, who would only hurt her more.

A mother and daughter hold hands.

The daughter reaches to the sky, wanting to touch the stars. Her mother puts her arm around her and hugs her. They hold each other as the stars shine.

A mother smiles, knowing it’s going to be okay.

She points both fingers in the air, saying she won’t be like her father. Pregnant mothers cradle their bumps.

Holding her daughter, River , she tells her that she’s her baby and River responds with a big kiss on mommy’s lips.

 

Rating: 3/5

The black-and-white aesthetic creates a distance instead of a connection to the people featured in the video. Clarkson is able to break through it, though, with her lightened backgrounds. However, everyone else has to emote in the dark. It makes it difficult to see the details, like one of the woman’s tears rolling down her cheek. It dims the affection between the mother and daughter hugging and lessens the little girl’s pain.

Seeing everyone in color would’ve made a bigger emotional impact. Healing is the theme and the somber black-and-white is as though nothing really has changed, despite the lyrics. It seems to be black-and-white was chosen for style’s sake rather than any other reason.

Director: Alon Isoncianu  Year: 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqCqYP7hDWI

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