The essay outlines the similarities and differences between the music video on Ariana Grande’s pop song “Break free” and the live performance of this song.
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The major ground for comparing the videos is a representation of the song’s essence and transmission of the song’s message through the elements of the two videos. Thus, even though there are some major discrepancies between the videos both in structure and in characters’ representation, the pictures demonstrate the same sense, which is breaking the stereotype of women’s dependence upon men.
The first point of comparison between the two videos is structural organization. The music video contains an introduction that outlines the content of the video, provides some information about the setting of the action and the main characters starring in it. Through this part, one can perceive that there is a distinct sexual aspect within the picture, while the creators of the video strongly emphasize it. Besides, this part of the song video informs the watchers about the fact that the action takes place in outer space, thus the video represents a fictional scenario. In contrast to it, the video that shows a live performance contains a lyrical introduction. One can trace the singer who is slowing down the tempo of the song at the beginning, thus the dynamic development of the performance seems quite unexpected. Moreover, in the introductory part of the second video, Ariane Grande is shown alone in a separate room. She is sitting on a stool and leading the song in a tender and soothing way, consequently, it is hard to predict the evolution of the song. Therefore, the major point in which the structural organizations of the two videos differ is their introductory parts. While the first one provides a dynamic and energetic start for it, the second makes the essence of the video shaded, since it differs from the body part of the video in rhythm and tempo.
Secondly, one can compare the videos due to a representation of the characters in them. The music video displays several alien figures, among which there are many monsters and robots. Ariana Grande, who represents a beautiful heroic personage, struggles against them. The picture presents a wide range of multicolored cosmic outfits and costumes. In the second video, however, one may notice that the scenic costumes of the singer and the dancers are more discreet. The colors of the outfits are quite contrastive: Ariana Grande is dressed in black overalls, while the dancers’ clothes are white. Despite these discrepancies, a watcher may notice that the theme of outer space reality is preserved in both videos. Thus, the singer’s as well as the dancers’ outfits contain the elements of metal and are made in a peculiar cosmic style.
As for the most prominent similarities between the videos, the first of them is the aspect of sexuality that is preserved and vividly demonstrated in both of them. The pictures present the main character as a cosmic girl with a sexual appearance. This element is incorporated into the videos so that to emphasize the beauty of a woman and the powerful influence, which this beauty creates upon the world.
Therefore, the videos differ in several aspects. However, I traced the issue that seems to bind these two pictures together. The issue can be deduced through the help of the “lens” analysis. Thus, when one analyzes the details that comprise the music video, it is possible, then, to comprehend what is the essence of the live performance.
The song video presents us with a girl of unbelievable strength. Despite her fragile constitution, this girl has enough power to defeat the monster and to throw the evil magician into a hellish pit. This fact should not be perceived in its direct meaning, while the character’s physical strength is only a metaphoric representation of her powerful will, wisdom, and moral stability. Her fights against the quaint characters symbolize the obstacles that prevented her from being free in past. While the creatures, who are defeated by the singer, are males, one can claim that the girl’s struggle shows her emancipation from the males’ domination.
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The video, however, should not be perceived as a hymn to traditional feminism. It rather represents the harshness of relationships between males and females as well as shows how a strong woman breaks free from her cumbersome feelings to a man who does not respect her. Consequently, one may understand the message of the live performance that was given by Ariana Grande. The introductory part of this performance, in which the singer is left alone in a small room, illustrates her feelings after she was abandoned by her beloved. Thus, the girl’s moving to another stage and the dynamic development of the song represent her victory over her fears and show that the main character managed to break free from her unhappy relationships and is ready to move along in life.
Therefore, the “lens” comparison helps us to understand the boundaries that are holding two videos together as well as perceive the primary essence of these pictures, which is the moral strength and power of a female.