‘See You Again’ is a song rooted in faith and hope, so it
was only fitting that the accompanying video reflect that. Before I viewed this
video, I had heard huge superlatives banded around in reference to it, so
perhaps it was a lot to live up to. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but I
had hoped that the video would build a few significant characters’ stories.
It’s true there are an abundance of characters included in
the video, but they have instead taken the stance of quick, snappy shots that
don’t necessarily build a story over time. We have lots of topics covered;
marriage proposals, soldiers returning from war, graduations and death are just
a few. Mostly however the video sticks to the solid emotive visuals of reunion,
with touches of memory and nostalgia thrown in, meaning this video works with
the premise of “seeing someone again”, but perhaps could have explored it in
more depth. For example, Carrie has often spoken of the faith in this song, and
the video shies away from it somewhat (it’s there, but not clear). It’s possible
the record company wanted to make it more universal than Christianity, but I
think it breaks the continuity of artistic meaning.
I also think it’s interesting in the way it’s been edited.
Instead of being focused around narrative, which the majority of music videos
are, they have gone in a considerably more ‘arty’ direction, and this may be a
sign of Carrie and her production team’s interest in that field, particularly
after ‘Two Black Cadillacs’. Plenty of the shots relate to the exact lyrics
being sung over them too, something which is surprisingly rare in music videos
these days, and even extends to random library shots of wind blowing when
Carrie sings “echoes in the wind”. Something I’ve noticed about the video for ‘See
You Again’ is that it’s very literal in its interpretation, and I expected something
which had its own narrative and simply took the key concept of the song.
In this way this video actually subverts convention here and
there, and is one of those that reveals more about itself the more you study
it. There is certainly a lot of content; I personal felt that it moved too fast
for me to really tap into emotions, although I did feel a lump in my throat
towards the end, for example with the little girl running towards her Daddy
(come on, kids and pets, I’m a sucker). Perhaps, however, the speed of the
shots add to its arty charm, and it is definitely growing on me with each viewing.
I have to say the icing on the cake was the Oklahoma tribute.
It was delicately done, and also made me well up, not to mention the nice touch
of Carrie sitting with her head nested on her crossed arms. It was a more
vulnerable shot than we usually get from her and they took time over it,
reinforcing the personal importance of this cause for her.
The video is definitely a grower, and subtly strays from
convention in favour of the arty, while retaining an emotional aspect that
means something to viewers. I’m not sure yet whether it’s one of my favorite
Carrie videos, but it’s definitely one that fans will remember and likely keep
close to their hearts.