A Teen's Perceptive View on "Affairs of the Heart"

Write Music Video Review on Ok Go’s The Writing's on The Wall

Lynn Hong, At Age 15

You cannot help but be left slack-jawed and absolutely amazed after watching Ok Go’s The Writing on The Wall. The quirky representation of the song through the use of optical illusions is a welcome and lively twist that makes this video extremely memorable.

Although some viewers may be left slightly disorientated by the spinning camera shots in the later half of the video and befuddled by the optical illusions, the video scores on its clever use of perspective and illusions, and on its cohesiveness with the song’s main message.

The song’s primary message is that a couple is breaking up due to a growing distance between them. However, the speaker still wishes to end the relationship on a high note. This difference in perspective of the estranged couple is made all the more apparent by the use of optical illusions in the video.

Viewed from a certain angle, it may seem as though the band member is floating on thin air against a patterned background. When the camera angle shifts, you see that he is actually standing on the ground. Another example would be the words “I think I understand you” painted on a wall. Again, it is reduced to incoherent lines and fragments when the camera angle shifts.

The video comprises a string of fun and intriguing optical illusions which clearly illustrate the difference which each person’s perspective makes. It literally goes from a perfectly understandable sentence to a scrawl, demonstrating the differences in opinions and perspectives between this couple. This very visual and amusing representation of the song’s message makes the video highly enjoyable.

If you were to mute the video, the visuals alone create a joyful, almost whimsical wonderland and an exuberant atmosphere with its quirky illusions and colourful props. However, accompanied by the somewhat despondent and resigned melody, it combines to create an interesting experience for the viewer.

On the one hand, a break up is eminent, but you are chuckling away heartily at the antics and illusions. Although the main message of both video and song is sad, you thoroughly delight in it. This contrast further serves to bring out the contradiction in the message, that the parties want to have fun and be happy even in their last days as a couple. It not only allows you to see and hear its message, but feel the song’s intent as well.

All in all, it is a thoroughly enjoyable music video with a delightful twist of whimsy that very effectively brings out its main message.

Ms Geraldine Chew, Lynn's Teacher

"The lyrics of the song speak about being in a relationship knowing that breakup is imminent and unavoidable. Lynn's review was particularly incisive in conveying the sense of order and chaos; and her appreciation of the video’s predominant play on optical illusions."