Video Review: Nelly “Just A Dream”

Through the barrel of the wavefilmed in black-and-white, Nelly sits in his car, hanging in the air. Sitting next to him is his ex-girlfriend (Kat Graham), staring back at him. The waves crackle below. He entwines his hand with hers.

When he opens his eyes, he discovers he is on the street. He puts his hands near his eyes, composing himself and then gets out of the car. He rests his head on the hood of the car, thinking. His ex-girlfriend walks the beach, antagonized by his presence.

From the sky, he watches his ex-girlfriend run carefree in the surf.  On the street, he looks back up. In the sky, a wedding band twists in the air.

In the ocean, he lies back underwater. He then kisses his ex-girlfriend.

He walks along the shore, his dreams (a luxury car, home and wedding band) hovering above him.

He drives in the city, passing a prostitute who eyes him. His ex-girlfriend laughs while sitting next to him in the car.

Under water, his ex-girlfriend puts her hand on his chest.

At the club, he watches the women dance but is getting nothing of it. He walks away and dials his ex-girlfriend’s number on his cell phone. He leaves the club.

One by one, each of the objects catch fire. He views the destruction as debris falls. Half of the wedding band crashes to the shore.

His eye peels open and then ruptures as fragments of glass fly.

Against the building, a friend stops to say hello to him. However, once his friend leaves, the distress returns to his face. The wedding ring pops out of his eye in an even swirl.

Through his hollowed out eye, his ex-girlfriend hangs onto to him as they swim under water. He holds onto to her for as long as she slips away.

Rating: 4.5/5

A scientific approach explores the anatomy of the eye and turns it into a metaphor. All the fluid inside are the tears he’s holding back. The broken eye reflects his dazed expression as he delays the confrontation with reality.

The black-and-white, although murky at times, is nightmarish as he struggles to get through his waking life. The world has gone dark for him and with each passing day, he plunges further into it.

In the sky, he watches whatever hopes he had for his life combust into the air. The wedding band, though, is the most devastating image. In slow motion, a piece breaks off and crashes, signaling the end of any love. He thinks he will be single and not find anyone ever again.

The other two images – the house and car-  seem redundant considering the wedding band singlehandedly carries the emotional weight and delivers its impact. Nonetheless, they take on a dream-like quality, symbolizing what he is thinking.  The house represents his future family and children. He believes he won’t ever have the chance to become a father again, much less have several children and create another generation. Meanwhile, the car suggests any milestones are over for him. He will continue being on his own.

Director: Sanji Year: 2010

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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 ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place

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