Video Review: The Verve "Bitter Sweet Symphony"

Richard walks to a cross street and pauses, waiting for the signal in downtown London. As he crosses the street, a young woman on roller skates turns to the left. On the street, a man smokes and he passes two older women out shopping.

He bumps into two twentysomethings who give him a dirty look, telling him to watch it. A male employee at the appliance store loads a refrigerator to a customer’s car. A woman looks into her purse while walking. Richard knocks her onto the ground. A man in a trench coat says “excuse me” and a few people gather around her. A second man helps her up and calls Richard a jerk.

He bumps into several other people, who don’t react. A woman rolls her luggage. The wheels land on his feet. She gives him the evil eye after passing him. A mother with a stroller skirts past him.

He walks on the hood of a car and jumps off of it. A young woman gets out of the car and in his face. She pushes him, trying to get his attention. Then, she steps off to the side, exclaiming “WTF was that?” A man sweeps the sidewalk. A second young woman glares  at him.

He stops at the cross street, staring into the window of car driving onto the main road. A dove bobs its head as Richard steps onto the next street. He bumps into two men, who laugh at him. A man avoids him and gets out of his way.  A homeless woman points at him, accusing of him metaphysical crimes.

He walks in between a man talking on his cell phone and his friend. A homeless man sleeps by a closed store. The band members follow behind him and they continue to walk.

Rating: 4/5

Richard doesn’t care anymore. He’s going to do whatever he wants. The days of following social norms are over. If he has something to say, he’ll say it. As he walks down the busy London street, he sees people from different walks of life. Class issues begin to spring up.

A majority of the people who accuse and call him names are well-off. The young woman who falls down wasn’t looking, either. She assumed he would move out of the way. He didn’t. But the name-calling is directed at him while she wonders why he is hateful. The most hypocritical is the woman whose car was blocking the street. He walked over her car to get through. Again, he’s considered in the wrong for not risking his life or waiting for her to move.

The people who work at the stores manuever around him. The mom with the stroller seems to be in town for the day, wanting to get home before her baby wakes up. Otherwise, he’s ignored by the wealthy older woman and stared down by the young people, who believe he shouldn’t be near to the luxury shops they frequent.

Director: Walter Stern Year: 1997


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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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