I normally don’t talk about the thumbnail used on a video. However, It would be perfectly natural for someone to look at that thumbnail and think they are about to watch a music video remake of Casablanca (1942) with Martin Fry playing Bogart. It’s not too far off. I would add that it also seems to take place in a lost Rainer Werner Fassbinder film.
When I watch this music video I get the distinct feeling that I am missing previous chapters in this story of three different guys that become enraptured with the same woman. This also isn’t too far off. I haven’t listened to the whole album, called The Lexicon of Love, but I know enough to say that I am kind of missing other installments in this tale. Wikipedia tells me that while it is not a concept album, it does have repeated themes that revolve around heartache. This also makes sense seeing as several of the songs off of the album have names like The Look of Love, All of My Heart, and Valentine’s Day. A longform music video was even made called Mantrap. Still, you don’t have to have heard the whole album, or have seen the other music videos that were made for songs on the album in order to enjoy this one.
I mentioned before that there are three different characters who try to get the same woman, but I have to admit that I thought they were the same person till I read the Wikipedia article on the song. It comes across as a guy spotting a woman that he knew while watching a play, disguising himself as a singing telegram to confront her backstage, and then she comes to his nightclub where he confronts her again, only to be literally reduced to a little nothing in her life. I have no doubt that these are supposed to be three different people. I also believe that they had Martin Fry play all of them for a reason. It seems to me that the music video visually hints to the audience that the three different characters come from the same place while the song itself has all three men singing the same song that asks her to shoot the “poison arrow” to their heart. The combination of the two binds them visually and audibly. I’m not sure about the beginning and the end. I could guess, but I’ll just leave that to you. I could be completely wrong about the whole thing.
In the end, it doesn’t matter that much. It is one of the best music videos of the era whether you get exactly what they were going for or not. Director Julien Temple did an excellent job here. It’s no wonder he has done more than a hundred of them. It’s also not a surprise that when ABC decided to make a return recently, they brought Julien Temple back to direct their new music video.
As is often the case, I come to the end of one of these posts, and just as I am ready to leave, I decide to do one more Google search only to find something else worth mentioning. Since I am stubborn, I often stick it at the end where/when I found out about it anyways. Does the woman look familiar? She didn’t to me, but it’s Lisa Vanderpump who would be in several other music videos–including one for Lady Gaga–and the TV Show, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.