A LOOK AT BTS’ “ON” KINETIC MANIFESTO FILM: COME PRIMA
BTS came back with a work of art, an anthem for our lives moving forward. An anthem that reclaims their pain and darkness as part of themselves and the journey they are on. An anthem for self-acceptance. With extraordinary visuals, the sound of their voices, and a contagious beat, BTS have another big hit.
They worked in collaboration with The Lab Dance Crew, and The Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps. Now! Let’s have a look at some key points in the video.
Kinetic Manifesto Film: Come Prima
The word kinetic, when referencing a work of art, indicates the use of motion to show effectiveness to the viewer. Manifesto, or in this case a manifesto film, refers to a declaration of one’s intentions or views, a promotion of a new idea and showing the enforcement of those changes. Come prima is an Italian term that, in the direction in music, means repetition. It means in the same manner as the first time (As before). Put together, we have BTS’ declaration of acceptance. They now are owning the fact that they are both light and shadow.
During the video, the formation taken by The Lab dancers is a strong focal point. Dressed all in black, they seem to embody the shadows that the boys have now accepted. The lines enclose them, are behind them, in front of them, and next to them, representing the fact that these shadows will follow them wherever they might go. Though the biggest point is the fact that BTS moves freely within, through or next to such shadows. This gave us the visual representation that they not only have accepted this part of themselves but are no longer controlled or confined by it. There are instances in which the dancers mimic the movements of BTS, then move on their own. This could be a representation of the continuous fight which does not falter on the journey of self-acceptance.
The video has BTS and the dancers in black and white attire. BTS were the ones who wore black and white, while the dancers wore black though some had warrior like white makeup. The colors black and white can be easily seen as the contrast of light and shadow, which is the overall theme continuously touched on by BTS.
Possible Past References
There are a few moments in which BTS refers to past work in this video. The most obvious one and one the boys have mentioned would be the title ON which is the direct reversal of their other song titled N.O. There are references to Blood, Sweat, and Tears particularly in the bridge of the song with Jungkook and Jimin. Jungkook sings
“Where my pain lies
Let me take a breath
My blood and tears
Got no fears
Oh I’m takin’ over”,
… a contrast to lines once sung in the “Wings” era. Specifically in the hook sung by Jungkook and Jimin
“My blood, sweat, and tears
My last dance too
Take it all away
My blood, sweat, and tears
My cold breath too
Take it all away”,
… these being the lines of someone who has given up and succumbed to their darkest parts.
In ON they take control of every aspect of themselves, confidently declaring that they will take control now and face their fears head-on. If they may bleed now it will be because they put up a great fight. If they shed tears now, rain pouring, they face it.
They move freely within the shadows, no longer being controlled. They can now work with them. It feels like a statement to themselves, and maybe a little to the world, that they are here and better than ever.
The song as a whole is well written and carries an important message to BTS, ARMY, and those who will listen to their music. Though there were a few lines that stood out. For instance, SUGA’s verse has a line that reads
“Even if my knees drop to the ground
As long as they don’t get buried
It won’t matter”
… and this particular line stands out because of the power it holds. It perfectly encapsulates the perseverance that BTS has had throughout the years, one of the aspects that define them the most as a group.
The video is a showcase of their growth as artists and as people. A showcase with a very heartfelt and passionate message. Even if they find themselves confined by their shadow, expectations, and fame, by accepting all parts of themselves they have learned they can move freely. They can come in and out of their “beautiful prison”.
What are your thoughts on the film? Let us know what is your favorite part, or if you want to mention some other interesting points in the video, either in the comments section or on our social media.
Now off to watch the film a few more times (for research, of course!). Written by: Lizette
Edited by: Lisa
Designed by: Kaitlyn