Schmaltzy. Pastiche. Perfection. Such is the state of the delightful film/video from the late and great Michael Jackson.
Perhaps one of my favorite songs by the controversial artist, the video is one extended homage to film noir that perhaps tips its hat into too obvious of a reference and yet can only be seen as refreshing for a generation raised on thinking films in black and white are old, and worse, boring.
But don’t let the references to the classic fool you. The homage is just a red herring. The real treat of the video is Jackson’s dance moves and the delightful movement of a camera filmed by a steady hand by director Paul Hunter.
The video is drenched in a golden hue that highlights the primary colors: blue, yellow, and red. It has a golden timbre that accentuates the shallowness of the subject matter–that being two men obsessing over a hot woman mixed up with gangsters.
And make no mistake, the video is all style and no substance, which makes it so damn enjoyable. Like a mid-career film from Quentin Tarantino, the video hides no qualms about it being all about the homage to a time long gone, that being of tough men who fight for the affection of a woman, which is the perfect compliment to the song’s subject matter.
Which in my book is just fine. We all could use a little style in our lives, even if it means getting lost in a narrative dedicated to winning the affection of a hot person. If only we could all have that much fun.