This video featuring Eminem and Rihanna represents a huge contrast between the 2 oppositegenders. Levi-Strauss will describe the whole video a dictation of a conflict between twobinary oppositions. Regardless of both Eminem & Rihanna not being physically part of thenarrative, the use of their star power helps us imagine how they would of felt if they were inthe position of the fellow actors. It helps us as an audience to relate to the celebrities.The video compares the different role of the boy and girl in a relationship and also representsthe difference in perspective of the two genders. The video starts with a close up Rihannawhich immediately engages the audience - especially those who are Rihanna fans. Here weare encouraged to follow and understand the girl’s feelings through Rihannas voice andsimultaneously the visuals help us understand the main theme of the video because the lyricsillustrate the meaning of the song (Goodwin). As Rihanna is singing, we see cross cuts to agirl and her boyfriend sleeping and cross cuts of her sitting with fire in her hand. Thisportrays the original equilibrium of the video (Torodov). The fire connotates the girls stateof mind and noticeably, there is also fire in the background when Rihanna is singing, whichrepresents the destructive mood the girl is under when they know that their guy may becheating on her. This concept goes back to the general ideology of males being the dominant,cheating figures that see women as mere objects of sexual desire (Mulvey) and thereforedont think twice before committing adultery. The fire seems to give a literal meaning of thelyrics ....watch me burn...Suddenly the girls eyes open, we hear a sudden breakthrough of Eminem’s powerful voicethat goes hands in hand with the aggressive lyrics that the song has to offer. The voice ofEminem introduces the disruption in the video (Torodov). The lyrics correspond with thevisuals where we see the boy pushing himself onto her and almost trying to forcibly convinceher. All throughout the portion sung by Eminem we see the aggressive conflict between thecouple and the visuals seem to conform to the idea of male dominance becauseconventionally men have always managed to get it their way however what interestinglystruck my attention was the equally harsh actions the girl responded the boy back with whichallows the women of this generation to relate with and in fact allows them to feel in power.Rihanna re-enters the visuals once the chorus approaches which to some extent Goodwin willbelieve amplifies the lyrics as the star power accompanying the lyrics helps enhance andexaggerate the meaning and the main theme of the song. It emphasises the fall out howeverinterestingly, the visuals seem to contradict the meaning of the lyrics because it shows thecouple making out when the lyrics are referring to a break in their relationship. Thecontradictory visuals to the lyrics reflect the confused relationship the couple holds.Just before we experience another breakthrough of Eminems rap we see fast edits betweenRihanna singing and Eminem just wandering which hints the audience and prepares them foranother portion of visual coming from a perspective of the boy. Throughout this video theaudience is able to understand the conflict of the couple from the two gender perspective andRihanna and Eminems star power defines the relationship and also allows us audience torelate to the situation and in some cases we are encouraged to follow ones narrative morethan the others due to mere star attraction.As Eminem is singing, the visuals of the isolated boy sitting down encourages us to believe
that he may be regretting his actions and possibly seeing himself in the wrong. Here Torodovwill describe to be the recognition, portion of the problem in the narrative. This cuts tovisuals of flashbacks showing how the couple initially met which allows the audience tofollow up the narrative however it always cuts back to either show the girl crying or the boyscreaming and so the fast edits provide a comparison in which we see the contrast betweentheir current state and their previous state of relationship.After all these visuals, we see the whole video coming to a new equilibrium (Torodov) andvisuals are seemingly slowing down. The visuals of Eminem offering a teddy bear to the girlprovides a literal understanding of the new equilibrium and it shows some hope of the couplepossibly getting back together.Yet again Rihanna enters the visuals along with the chorus but this time we also see Eminemaccompanying her which to some extent reflects the reunion of the two individuals throughthe stars. This time we see the couple becoming intimate again however we see elements offlashback in which the boy goes attacking a boy for the girl. This ideally show how therelationship initially worked out. The action code excites the audience in wanting to resolvethe problem (Barthes). Here we see the constant conflicts that the couple have managed toovercome. Throughout the whole video the men have been represented as the villain,(Propp) whether its Eminems aggressive tone or the boys aggressive attitude in fact you seethe boy breaking the mirror with his fist as if hes given up but we then see the girl smiling athim from the background.Eminem begins to rap again and this time the lyrics illustrate the meaning of the narrativebecause the voice is accompanied by several close ups of the couple which builds up theintimacy and also hints the couple resolving the issue however to a surprise we see the girlwalking again which irritates the boy again and this time he begins to destroy the bedroomand forcibly grabs onto the girl. Propp will say that the girl at this moment is represented asthe princess, as it shows her in a vulnerable situation.A lot of fire is shown during the series of images as it enhances the idea of destruction intheir relationship in cast we see the girl lighting off a flame in her hands which conotates theend of the relationship and we see a literal translation of the lyrics ....watch me burn....when the boy is set on fire downward up and the girl is in flames. The mis-en-scene of theteddy on fire signifies the idea of the end of love and innocence (Barthes) and we see a shotwith Rihanna and Eminem looking up at a burnt house which portrays a very tough anddestroyed relationship but all this comes to an end with a simple shot of the couple lying inbed together which noticeably is the shot that the whole video began with. The last shotimplies on a possible nightmare and thereby suggests that there is more to the story than allthat we are presented with hinting on a post life after the video ends. This leaves the audiencewondering about the whole concept and the use of enigma code (Barthes) will interest theaudience to watch it again to possibly resolve this problem.From this video, I am highly influenced by the concept of disruption and equilibrium(Barthes) and thereby have taken this further into our final music video which will portray alife of a couple going through all their ups and downs in their relationship. Our video willstart off with a problem that will be seen resolved throughout the duration of our music videoalong with visuals of their flashbacks that implies on their recall of memories and their timespent together.