Video Review: Justin Bieber “What Do You Mean?”

In the pouring rain, a man (John Leguizamo) waits by a stop sign at a motel. Justin Bieber walks across the street to the motel and meets him. The man asks if he has his money. Bieber hands him a wad of money and asks him to promise not to let any harm come to his girlfriend. The man remarks that “you play with fire, you might just get burnt” and snaps his lighter shut.

In a motel room, his girlfriend (Xena Deli) bites her fingernails. She sits on the chair, wondering what’s happening. She checks the time on the clock and opens the door. She puts her arms around his neck and begins to kiss him. Then, she shoves him away. But she pulls her shirt over her head and starts to kiss him again. They have sex.

The motel room, lit with flourescent crimson bars above the bed, Bieber sits by the foot of the bed, looking at her every so often, thinking of what could be going through her mind. She lies on the other side, putting her hand on her temple and looking back at him. He puts his shirt back on and stares at the clock.

Two masked men burst through the door. One holds Bieber by the waist as he kicks the other man with his legs. His girlfriend, worried, watches him get taken away. A third man enters the room and his girlfriend kicks him with her feet as she tries to guard herself against the bed. The man puts a black hood over her.

In the backseat of the car, Bieber turns on his lighter and gives her a kiss as they spoon while one of the masked man drives them to a remote location. One of the masked opens the hood and leaves them tied up at an abandoned office building.

His girlfriend tries to burn through the rope. After a second try, she is able to free them and they run. Bieber opens the door with his shoulder and looks down. However, one of the masked man opens the door to office building. Breathing hard, she stares at him, not knowing what to do. He asks her to trust him and places his hand in hers. They jump out and land on an inflatable mat.

Next to the mat is a skatepark. One of the masked man (John Leguizamo) turns his mask over his head and asks him if he’s “got what’s mine.” Bieber shows him the lighter. The man grins.

At the skatepark, his girlfriend laughs and they kiss. Bieber stands against a graffitied wall with such painted words as love and hope.

Guys raise their skateboards in the air as a flame burns beside them. Bieber dances with the crowd. Later, he separates himself from the people and stares outside.

Rating: 3/5

Midway through, it seems as though a big piece of the story was edited out. The twist doesn’t make  sense otherwise. Bieber paid him off and then the man asked him to do a job for him. However, the lighter isn’t even mentioned or pointed out until Bieber shows it to the man. How was it obtained? Why is it important?

None of it matters, though. Bieber  is shirtless and the girlfriend takes her top off. The director is likely figuring no one is really paying attention after that point. Without any concentration on story, it makes it the introduction pointless. The story, in turn, becomes secondary to the sex scene.

Sense and logic were not utilized well. If the director wanted to focus on the relationship, it would’ve been okay to have them in the motel room. A convoluted loan shark subplot was not needed. However, the convoluted loan shark subplot gets about as much screen time but has little explanation. It’s the equivalent of hearing one thing from the main boss  and another from the manager.

Director: Brad Furman Year: 2015

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.

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