Not surprisingly, I really liked this song. It was very catchy and had an incredible hook. “Mother-Father Gentlman” has been in my head ever since I first heard the song and I couldn’t love it any more. It is both a funny joke on Korean “Engrish” but also related to the actual lyrics (if you use the actual term that Koreans replace with “mother-father,” it still fits). The song started out with a simple electronic beat which just made me excited and eagerly anticipating the rest of the song. While the song followed a similar pattern as Gangnam Style, it was still clearly its own independent song. The style of rap-singing was different and sounded almost like chanting, fitting the concept of a bragging gentleman.
The story of this video was pretty hilarious. Psy plays the character of some kind of fancy, important person, yet everywhere he goes he goes out of his way to mess with people. We see clips of him living the high life while totally abusing it, from purposely spilling tea on his date to pressing all of the buttons in the elevator to prevent a man who desperately needs to go to the bathroom from getting off. Psy demonstrates exactly what it means to be a troll by appearing innocent at first and then for no reason doing something to completely inconvenience the people around him. Later in the video, he tries to impress Gain at the gym and the two go out together. We find out that she is a female version of him, kicking his chair out from under him and enjoying his utter silliness. The scenes shown were simply hilarious and very creative. One would think that the single idea of trolling would get old after a couple minutes, but each scene was different enough to keep the theme entertaining throughout the video. I enjoyed the acting of Psy’s victims and how in each scene, the things that he does are completely unexpected.
While it was a simple idea, it was very entertaining and very much fit the idea of the song. It was so much fun and full of irony.
In terms of cinematography, this video had some very strong points, but also some very weak points. I really liked the sets and backgrounds used in the different scenes. Most of the indoor places Psy goes are very professional-looking and sometimes fancy, like nice department stores, fancy restaurants, and clean office spaces. It added to the humor to see Psy acting so inappropriately in these places. I also liked the two main dance scenes. The darker scene had bright lights in the background, reflecting Psy’s fame, and the green scene resembled both a golf course and an incredibly fancy mall, reflecting Psy as a rich gentleman. Those particular scenes added very much to the humor and overall concept of the video.
While the video is about Psy doing random actions to disrupt the peace of these professional settings, they still followed a particular theme while some of the sets were random without following any theme. For example, dancing in a park or messing up a kids’ soccer game didn’t go at all with the other scenes and didn’t relate to Psy’s character. It was typical of Psy the singer to dance in these random places, but for his character in this music video they were totally random and unfitting. I also did not at all enjoy the scene of Psy dancing in front of a pool surrounded by girls wearing bikinis. I found it made Psy look more like a womanizer than a cool guy who can get girls. (Keep in mind, I’m not accusing Psy of anything, but this is the image that a scene like that gives off). I also thought the multiple shots of men hip-thrusting and waving their hips around was just unpleasant to watch and took away from the video.
The single strangest moment during the video for me was in the scenes right before the last chorus, when he repeats “wet Psy,” the video suddenly shows Psy in what appears to be a variety show. The quality of the image is really low and doesn’t at all relate to the rest of the video. During that particular part, the music video looked like a fan-made video, which should never happen for an official music video.
This video showed Psy in his typical suits. I liked the variety in the styles of each suit. They reflected the mix of professional and crazy that Psy portrays in the video. While I liked the jackets, I thought the dancing pants that Psy wore throughout most of the video did not look good at all on him and took away from the fashionable gentleman image that he was trying to represent. I also did not like the outfits other people wore during the video, particularly Gain’s outfits. The dress she wore during the scene where the two of them are eating was more trashy than stylish and in the main dancing scenes, it just looks like she forgot to put pants on. Even though she is supposed to be the beautiful girl of the video, she would still be able to achieve that goal if she wore actual clothing. I also found the line of bikini girls to be the complete opposite of classy.
There were only two moments of dance in this video, and I loved both parts. I loved the first move that we see, where Psy has his arms up to the side and is skipping to the other side. It goes along perfectly with the song, mirroring a person who doesn’t care about the mess he just made and is proudly skipping away. I also enjoyed seeing Psy and Gain perform the Abracadabra dance during the chorus. “Abracadabra” is one of K-pop’s most popular songs and dances and it was very clever of Psy to include this in his song. It is also a proud move like the first one, reflecting Psy’s troll gentleman character, but it is also a hidden treat for loyal Psy and K-pop fans. While the move itself isn’t very complicated or entertaining, the meaning behind it is the real reason why I like it. The majority of people who will watch Gentleman are probably not familiar with K-pop and are just looking for the follow-up video to Gangnam Style. While they all look at this dance and attempt to copy it like Gangnam Style’s horse dance, we loyal K-pop fans will be laughing at the fact that these so-called Psy fans have no idea that this dance is not in fact Psy’s and has origins so well known to any K-pop fan. It is like Psy’s secret message to his true fans for our enjoyment.
Overall, I was very happy with this video. It was the perfect follow-up to Gangnam Style. It had a similar sound, one that the Gangnam Style audience should appreciate, but is still unique enough to stand alone. The hook was brilliant, the concept was hilarious and entertaining, and the dance was chosen very cleverly as a simple, easy-to-imitate dance while still holding meaning for K-pop fans.