Porcelain waves slam into the rock on a beach in Malibu, California, splitting into several directions. Ellie Goulding stands barefoot on the shore, watching.
In the car, Goulding’s boyfriend touches her hair.
She lies on a piece of wood in a cream-colored dress and opens her eyes to see globes strewn on the broken sand. Her image is reflected in the globe as they float.
Goulding stands in a black t-shirt and jeans. She blinks her eyes from the scattering moisture.
On the broken sand, she waves her arms, closing her eyes as a globe floats above her. A glass triangle on the sand reflects her movements. As the sun sets, she sits on a swing held by invisible strings. A butterfly rests on her hand.
In her black t-shirt and jeans, she stands opposite her boyfriend, who joins her on the sand. Dried streaks of blood weave across his cut face. Blood drips from her nose. She rubs his tattooed back while he lies dead. She watches as all the globes rise further into the sky.
In the car, her boyfriend kisses her pale white hand. She smashes into another car. Her body collapses on the swing above the car crash. She and her boyfriend reach for one another and then fall. She stands on top of the car, still hooked to the swing. Her boyfriend’s head is turned to the window.
She flies in the sky. The blood drips from her nose to her chin. She and her boyfriend hold hands as they gaze at the ocean. Seagulls fly over the waves.
The summer Ellie Goulding spent on Malibu beach changed her life. While studying overseas, she was hanging out with her host family’s daughter, tanning and drinking the days away. The bartenders knew their names and orders to the extra cherry. A young man often recommended her professors at the college and in conversation, they realized they were in the same history program. He was saving up to go to England next year. She said she was welcome to stay with her. For nearly a year, they dated, with promises to defy the failure of long-distance relationships.
A car crash, though, ended both their lives. As she was turning left, another car continued to speed through the light, hitting them head-on. The last thing she remembers was the other driver’s petrified face as he twisted his wheels to swerve.
She woke up on the ruins of Malibu beach, wearing an angelic cream-colored dress. Glass globes replayed memories of her life. Thoughts of her mother and father fade in her mind. However, she thinks of the night at the outdoor bar when she and boyfriend met. He waits for her on the sand and reaches for her. They hold hands, bracing for the afterlife, hoping to be together.
Director: Floria Sigismondi Year: 2012
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