‘See You Again’ is a song rooted in faith and hope, so it was only fitting that the accompanying video reflect that. Before I viewed this video, I had heard huge superlatives banded around in reference to it, so perhaps it was a lot to live up to. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but I had hoped that the video would build a few significant characters’ stories.
It’s true there are an abundance of characters included in the video, but they have instead taken the stance of quick, snappy shots that don’t necessarily build a story over time. We have lots of topics covered; marriage proposals, soldiers returning from war, graduations and death are just a few. Mostly however the video sticks to the solid emotive visuals of reunion, with touches of memory and nostalgia thrown in, meaning this video works with the premise of “seeing someone again”, but perhaps could have explored it in more depth. For example, Carrie has often spoken of the faith in this song, and the video shies away from it somewhat (it’s there, but not clear). It’s possible the record company wanted to make it more universal than Christianity, but I think it breaks the continuity of artistic meaning.
I also think it’s interesting in the way it’s been edited. Instead of being focused around narrative, which the majority of music videos are, they have gone in a considerably more ‘arty’ direction, and this may be a sign of Carrie and her production team’s interest in that field, particularly after ‘Two Black Cadillacs’. Plenty of the shots relate to the exact lyrics being sung over them too, something which is surprisingly rare in music videos these days, and even extends to random library shots of wind blowing when Carrie sings “echoes in the wind”. Something I’ve noticed about the video for ‘See You Again’ is that it’s very literal in its interpretation, and I expected something which had its own narrative and simply took the key concept of the song.
In this way this video actually subverts convention here and there, and is one of those that reveals more about itself the more you study it. There is certainly a lot of content; I personal felt that it moved too fast for me to really tap into emotions, although I did feel a lump in my throat towards the end, for example with the little girl running towards her Daddy (come on, kids and pets, I’m a sucker). Perhaps, however, the speed of the shots add to its arty charm, and it is definitely growing on me with each viewing.
I have to say the icing on the cake was the Oklahoma tribute. It was delicately done, and also made me well up, not to mention the nice touch of Carrie sitting with her head nested on her crossed arms. It was a more vulnerable shot than we usually get from her and they took time over it, reinforcing the personal importance of this cause for her.
The video is definitely a grower, and subtly strays from convention in favour of the arty, while retaining an emotional aspect that means something to viewers. I’m not sure yet whether it’s one of my favorite Carrie videos, but it’s definitely one that fans will remember and likely keep close to their hearts.