F(X)’s 4 WALLS MV (Music Video Analysis)
I’m deviating from my analysis queue because the new f(x) video came out this morning and it officially converted me to the fandom. I didn’t want my interpretation to be influenced so I haven’t read any other posts. I know all the different analysis posts from BTS’s I NEED U got a little repetitive, so I’m sorry if I’m just repeating what anyone else has already said.
The views presented in this analysis are a part of my own individual interpretation of the video, which means they are subject to error. This post is based off the MV from SMTown’s official Youtube channel.
Dimensional Dissonance: The premise of the video is based upon the idea of four parallel dimensions. Victoria, Krystal, Luna, and Amber are members of four parallel dimensions that form one reality. They are four versions of the same girl. In order to maintain one cohesive reality, these four dimensions must remain parallel. Imagine dominoes in a line, all parallel to one another. When one falls and collides into another, they all fall down. When one wall falls down, the whole room caves in. The album cover is a reference to these four parallel dimensions. Even in math, a function, or f(x), is defined as having no more than one y output for every x input. When one input starts getting multiple outputs, then it is no longer a function. In this case, reality fragments and shatters.
The video begins by flashing between Victoria, Krystal, and Luna as they wake up. This is the first instance of parallelism that continues throughout the video, alluding to four dimensions that make one reality–four girls that make one person. Other instances include Krystal brushing her hair and Luna looking in the mirror. A moment later, their roles are reversed. I won’t point out every time there’s parallelism or it’ll get tedious.
Note that the dream-like sequence begins once they awaken. It’s almost as if they’re in that early morning haze, that part of dreaming where you’re not sure if you’re awake or not. It highlights the fragile nature of reality, easily distorted both in waking and in sleep.
A barren tree flashes and passage of time shows birds arriving. Birds, specifically ravens, have long been associated with the occult. The Norse goddess of battle and strife used crows as messengers. When a warrior saw one in battle, it signaled impending death. This foreshadows the main conflict of the video.
Amber drops her teacup and because it’s broken, Krystal’s tea has nowhere to go but the floor. Because Krystal shouldn’t be pouring tea because there isn’t a teacup, Victoria isn’t pouring tea either. She’s walking when Krystal’s tea materializes under her feet, causing her to slip and fall. Amber drops the cup when she shouldn’t. She knocks over one wall, one dimension. The effects are catastrophic.
Note that Amber has no reason to drop the teacup. She doesn’t trip and it falls. She stares off into space and the cup slips from her hand, as if something else had distracted her. From the screenshot above, it almost looks like she’s staring at something on the table, something else that shouldn’t be there. It’s as if the dissonance between dimensions was intentionally caused by an outside force. However, as we have no actual view of the tabletop from this angle, this is all just speculation.
When Victoria falls, she hits her head and dies. There’s a blank look in her eye and the video immediately flashes to what I’m going to refer to as the dimensional forest. The forest is what unifies all four dimensions into one reality. It is a physical plane where they can see the dimensions rupturing, and is therefore the one place where they can attempt to correct such dissonance.
When Victoria dies, their one reality become uninhabitable. If she dies, they all must die. Her death transports them to the dimensional forest so they can attempt to remedy this infraction.
Note the juxtaposition of the plain orderly apartment to the busy forest of the dimensional pathway. It’s almost as if reality appears simple but there’s so much behind it, so many intersecting branches that work to keep time and space together.
Butterflies traditionally represent change and metamorphosis. The butterfly symbolizes the shift from one dimension to another.
When Luna steps on the broken shards of the cup and bleeds, it shows how deeply this rupture of reality impacts them. The bright red blood is obvious against the pale pink socks.
Like how Luna steps on the shards of the teacup, Krystal stumbles upon Victoria pouring tea. They’re reenacting the scenes leading to the dissonance of reality and Victoria’s death.
Luna is frozen in the falling position like Victoria was as she fell. Note that both Victoria and Luna are frozen as they reenact this death scene. The longer they stay in the dimensional forest, the less agency they possess. If they cannot correct reality and prevent Victoria’s death, they’ll be stuck in this mindless charade forever.
Psychiatrist Carl Jung believed that within dreams horses represented an aspect of the human body or the unconscious human psyche. This hints that the dimensional forest is not a physical place after all, but is the manifestation of the four psyches that make one whole person. In order to correct this dissonance, they must overcome mental obstacles.
Krystal stumbles upon a pond or lake within the dimensional forest. This pond is the portal or link to the physical world. Victoria and Krystal demonstrate the link between the pond and the bathtub in the above screenshots, as do the flowers present in the water. What makes this portal significant is the common presence of water, a traditional symbol of healing. It is only because they are able to begin the process of healing that they are able to return to the realm of reality.
Because of the water portal, Luna–and therefore everyone else–is able to return to the physical world. Luna runs to the bedroom and gets in bed, which triggers some sort of reset which causes them to start the day over. All four girls are present in the unified reality. They have common purpose as it flashes between Luna and Amber and Victoria as they dive for the teacup.
Victoria is able to catch the teacup, which should theoretically correct the dimensional dissonance. She prevents it from happening. The screen goes black. We’re left to assume that everything snaps back to the way it’s supposed to be. No harm. No foul. It kind of makes you wonder if they’d remember this occurrence, if it’s possible that this isn’t the first time they’d had to save themselves, if their entire reality is a constant struggle to exist.