If you can’t avoid it, go through it.
Take the plunge.
drop = the act of falling; free fall, descent
Give up, let down
Can’t believe what I found
(Be quiet, be silent, be words from your mouth)
Build up from ground
Wipe clean of your frowns
(Dance around, be fry, be right on crown)
When my fault (Come back)
Costs you all (Come back)
Sticks like glue
Obstructs my view
Speak up, adapt
Watch closely, keep track
(Tonight, we ride. Don’t use your time)
Thin line to walk
No time to stall
(We try to hide. Don’t waste our time)
Give up, let down
Can’t believe what I found (Found, found)
(Be quiet, be silent, be words from your mouth)
Build up from the ground
Wipe clean of your frowns (Frowns, frown)
One more fault
Costs you all
Until I’m through
So glad drops is a clear continuation of the story in sever! After watching drops, I can now understand what the big hairy clump might actually stand for. Her worst fear. Real life. Think about it: the door it comes through in sever is located on the same wall as the window – a clear sign of the outside. The arguing during the same video must have probably been an invitation in the real world, answered with a refusal. Reality hits you hard, right? Has a sneaky way of making you embrace it. Unless you’re in a special state of mind, of course.
Drops begins with MO dancing comfortably by herself. As music increases in intensity (such a B reminder!), she seems to enter deeper and deeper into her trance. Her moves are wider, more fluent, her swirls get ampler, she even seems to enjoy it. Alone, in her safe world.
‘Is it gone? Did I dance it away? ‘
She turns around and there it is… Still being… The disappointment on her face! It almost hurts not to be able to escape it. She takes a deep breath and a little bit of strength seems to be emerging in her bones. It looks like the Clump might have gotten a little bit dizzy from all her frenzied dance. Could it be possible that it’s dead? As she decides to check, she approaches it and the creature twitches one last time. Pretty much out.
‘Maybe if I go through it, it won’t see me anymore. It won’t follow.’
She steps on it carefully, her feet betraying reticence. One last look, she arranges her palms as for a planned descent and she begins her plunge. For that’s what it is. Just like Alice in Wonderland, she takes not one, but multiple drops through floors and ceilings. She crosses so many levels, smashing each wall she encounters, turning it to dust. Behind her, a tunnel made of many holes. Does it hurt, this fall? It looks like it does. It’s a free fall into her dream/consciousness/imagination. This is the way towards yet another world. An even deeper level of her imagination. Hopefully one which reality won’t be able to disturb because it won’t be able to reach.
As MO keeps falling, we’re being shown what’s going on in the building across. First, a man trying to keep another Clump out of his room. The man is afraid, he’s exhausted from holding the door, drops of sweat on his skin. He looks outside his windows and he sees MO falling. In another room, a familiar figure, Little Clump, approaches the window and he too sees MO’s descend. Somehow, the little creature seems to be afraid of this image, because it immediately retreats and hides from the view. Why is that? In the same room, what looks like a sick person lays on the bed. And there it is… All these people are ’sick’ people. Remember the inverted commas. All these people avoid reality (please remember the Bullett interview and the dichotomy ‘your world’ – ‘our world’). They’re ‘mentally ill’ persons, inside an institution, each of them undergoing a certain stage of their ‘treatment’ (hence I am not referring at mentally ill persons literally, but at people undergoing changes, mainly spiritual ones, people finding ‘cures’ for their ’sickness’). The first man is close to being ready for the plunge, reality is really trying to get him. The second person, the one on the bed, is calmer, he’s just starting the treatment, the representation of his reality is a child Clump. In the end, at least one of them would have to free fall.
Back to our lady. As she reaches the lower level of the building, the garage, we can see how violent the fall has been. Pieces of concrete cover her body. We are immediately shown the silhouette of an old friend – the Volvo in T and In Concert – covered in plastic, as if waiting for her. No one else is around. Is it possible that she has reached the realm she wanted to reach? The fact that we’re in a garage and there’s a car waiting makes me think of a planned escape.
She’s close. As she strives to collect herself, she looks around once more to see whether she’s alone. On the hood of the Volvo – Clump. It clearly appeared in this very moment! It must have followed her down in her mind. It gets down from the car and starts marching towards MO. The latter fights to gather her body and her strengths. Something seems to drag her down still, something heavy. The thing surrounding her head – a concrete helmet. As she rises, we notice we’re dealing with a different MO – a warrior (she’s wearing a helmet, her body is protected by an armor and she also has a sword in her hand – a clear reference to her male counterpart, the knight in Y). To me, the act of leaving the helmet on the ground is a sign of her ‘losing her mind’. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. As I said before, one must lose himself when transforming himself. And this is what we’ve been witnessing through drops: a transformation. The vulnerable, tormented woman in sever becomes a determined strong warrior.The lyrics accompanying these images are suggestive. ‘Build up from ground’ remind us about deconstruction and reconstruction. Her body covered in concrete is a literal representation of reconstruction. Her weak body is reinforced with this concrete armor. Her ‘thin walls’ are rebuilt.
As she looks Clump in his face (!), she analyzes the situation and she decides she doesn’t need to use her sword to defeat him, so she drops it. This is not going to be that sort of fight. And how changed her attitude towards Clump is! At times, she even looks defiant. Visibly upset by this attitude, the creature starts to replicate itself, a thing which MO doesn’t expect. It’s how one’s fears manifest themselves. They hit hard, they attack from multiple parts, they always seem to be more than they appear. In the end, there are five Clumps surrounding her, with MO constantly analyzing her options. The positions of both Clumps and Jonna describe a prey surrounded by its hunters. A moment of silent, motionless tension, and then the Clumps begin their attack. The camera moves towards the center, focuses on MO, who bends her body forward, then straightens herself, closes her eyes and prepares for whatever comes. Is it going to be an impact? Are they going to fight? Is she going to imagine them away, make them disappear? We cannot tell for sure, but the fact that the last images in the video are concentrated on the vehicle (a means of escape), I think suggest that she’s in for a departure.
The audio in drops is very interesting and it comes to complete the imagery of the warrior and of the (internal/spiritual) fight. Those drums really sound like an incantation of a warrior goddess/ perfected self, they remind me of the rituals of passage/transformation in the ancient times.
Last, but not least, Jonna Lee’s interpretation of this MO is absolutely amazing. Her facial expressions and her body language are simply amazing! I mean we already knew this, but she keeps on getting better and better, it’s almost annoying
Some interesting details:
- the function of the plug
- some things MO took with her during her fall, among which a plastic fork, a telephone, a blow dryer
- love the beautiful parallel they made during the falling scene between MO’s falling and the man’s beads of sweat dropping (1:44). While MO’s act was a courageous act (voluntary plunge), the man’s sweat represents him still being afraid. It’s a nice antithesis.
I’m mentioning again how sad it is that we cannot make the most out of the lyrics of this song. But kin doesn’t seem so far away anymore and I’m sure we’ll have them in June. In the meantime, I am definitely waiting for the development of the story in good worker. Two weeks!
Read 2020K’s Audio review of drops through here