Ji Eun “Hope Torture” Music Video Review


The best part of this song was how Ji Eun conveyed her emotions in this song. Her voice at times sounded sad and other times bitter, but overall she gave off such a sense of disappointment. Even before I looked up the English translation of the lyrics, I could feel her conveying her disappointment in her boyfriend and anger in what her relationship turned into. It was the perfect mixture of sadness and disappointment. While she did an amazing job with her vocals, I wasn’t so crazy about the composition of the song. I think the melody could have definitely been smoother especially in the chorus. The rhythm seemed sporadic at times which made it difficult to follow. The song was nice, but I couldn’t find any part of the song that I particularly loved.

Score: 3.5/5


I was so impressed with the cinematography of this video. There wasn’t quite one plot to follow, but through different scenes, the story of the song was illustrated very effectively. The whole video conveys Ji Eun’s helplessness in her relationship. The scenes chosen were done so well. I love how throughout the video, we never clearly see who the guy is; instead we see what she sees in him: a faceless man who doesn’t respect her and who she feels unwillingly stuck to. That shot of his sly smile in the very beginning was so subtle and clever in making him the cold enemy in this song. After being introduced to him, we see the effects of the relationship on her. She lingers by the phone, waiting for him to call, only to hear his drunken voice on the other end (as displayed by the phone falling into the water). I like the use of the bathtub. At first it looked strange that she was fully clothes in a filled bathtub, but looking back again, it is like she is in a bathtub filled with her own tears. Then of course there is the very sad scene of her forced to celebrate her birthday all alone.

The use of thorns and nails couldn’t have been more vivid in showing the pain Ji Eun feels around him. Right after showing him touching her, we see her hand pricked by a thorn, indicating that his touch is painful like the thorns of a tree. We later see a nail painfully holding their hands together (as opposed to love). In the final nail scene when both of their hands are nailed to the wall, but not touching each other, that is just even more vivid of how they are stuck in a relationship that neither of them really wants to be in with each other. They are physically together, but emotionally apart.

It is worth pointing out the few scenes that kept this video from perfect. Having a guitar on fire didn’t appear to have any significance. Why a guitar? Also, while the birthday scene was acted very well in my opinion, I thought the other crying scenes looked a bit staged. Even though tears were falling from her eyes in some of those scenes, her face held no sadness.

I could keep going just on the cinematography. I was tempted to write another “Cinematography at Its Finest” post about this video, but it is already very similar to Lee Hi’s “Rose” that I feel like it would be a bit repetitive.

Score: 4.9/5


I was happily surprised with this wardrobe. I absolutely loved Ji Eun’s dresses. My favorite outfit was the gold shirt with the black beret. She looked beautiful, peaceful, but also confident in her appearance. I also really liked the black and red shirt and skirt. That and many of the other outfits made her look beautiful and elegant while also vulnerable and tragic. A couple scenes, like the one with the plaid shirt and the white dress of the nail scene, mixed elegant and casual, but not as seamlessly as they could have done, and I of course would have liked to see pants or longer skirts/dresses (especially with the white dress). The overall concept and hair and makeup were just beautiful though. I was also impressed with how they set up the boyfriend. He was dressed well and looked handsome, yet he had tattoos of flowers on his arms, giving him a “bad” image. The flowers also reflected that the love he shows to Ji Eun is fake, just like the flowers on his arm. Thought was clearly put into this wardrobe and it came out pretty well in the end.

 Score: 4.5/5

Overall, I was very impressed with this video. The cinematography exceptionally good at portraying the pain Ji Eun sings about and I was just blown away at how beautiful she looked in this video. I have never heard anything from Ji Eun as a soloist before, and I’m very happy with this first encounter.

Overall Final Score: 4.3/5

Question of the Day:

What is your favorite scene in this video?

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