Video Review: Lukas Graham “You’re Not There”

A rusted part of a car lies on the ground. A man takes cautious steps in the forest. A book floats in the water. Lukas Forchhammmer, his eyes, takes shallow breaths. The car’s passenger side overflows with water.

Apples bounce the pavement. He walks out his house, shell-shocked. He sees his neighbor across the street, juggling an apple.

In the car, he sleeps in the backseat. A woman holds her grocery bag open, letting the apples fall to the pavement. Despondent, he looks out the window of the self-driving car.

A tear drops down his cheek to his chin and onto the floor. As the the last of the sun light peers in the windows, the tear gets into the crook of the floorboard. The tear lifts.

Her high-heeled clad feet steeped in water, the ghost of Forchhamer’s ex-girlfriend lifts her leg and puts it over his. She cuddles next to him as they continue to drive.

An older man looks into the mirror. The car suddenly stops. It’s floorboard is flooded, which is lit in a blood red. Water fills the car. Flashlights are aimed at the window.

After the book floats, cameras flash as people take photos of Forchhamer unconscious. He floats in the water. The passenger’s side window cracks open and he frees himself.

A blindfold over his eyes, he walks out of the car. He puts his hands out, feeling his way through the forest by using the trees. He edges near a cliff. The camera pans down.

Rating: 5/5

The lucid dream quality of the video, with its visceral images, cut to the core of Forchhamer’s heartbreak.

He drives alone, heading into a direction he is not sure. At some point, he sees a man through the mirror. It could be him, bitter and aged, no longer believing in anything but anger. He feels disconnected from his neighbors and views women as poisonous temptations (with the apple).

He drowns in a car on the road, with reporters taking pictures. However, in a river, he is still clearly alive. He wants his pain to be heard, voiced by someone else. He does manage the car wreck. But he wakes, blindfolded, walking towards a cliff. No one is there to protect him.The pain is going to kill every living cell and thought within him. He is no longer the person he was.

The ambiguity, though, is terrifying. A need to console him kicks in.  He feels as though he is on his own. Somehow, seeing someone on the brink of becoming a cynical, darker version of themselves is tough to watch. The camera panning away does not offer reassurance or kind words. It lets it happen. It’s inevitable that he will be a shadow of himself, which is the tragedy of the video.

Director: Rene Sascha Johannsen Year: 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC-bSbXZBcU

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