For a song that was written as pure fiction, Harry Styles
' new "Kiwi" video holds a similar surreal quality that, while a little slow, is still irresistible.
Harold (we are on familiar terms) began teasing this video with stills the previous Friday, hyping fangirls/women/boys/humans up for some fresh new content. Children addressed only by their first names dressed in very Styles-like tapestry suits and their picture day finest were set to star in the video for the wildest and most gratuitous track on the album.
When I watched the video for the first time, I was admittedly a little underwhelmed with the pace. As someone who considers herself as Harold's best friend soul mate, those are harsh words. For such a high-energy, high-stakes song (featuring cash register chings and the sound of someone snorting coke), the slow motion combined with the children who've clearly been told to stand in one specific spot left the whole thing a little stagnant. However, the contrast of the video to the song, to Harry's recent endeavors, and to expectations make it all the more interesting.
His most recent on screen appearance being the war flick Dunkirk
(for which he cut his beautiful hair, below) left Harold depicted as a selfish, every-man-for-himself type of fellow. He didn't face cupcake ammunition and the prospect of a sugary stained lapel, but real bullets and blood. He was angry and hard. His work on the film was met with praise, and cemented him as a real talent in front of the camera, but his character was far from his own self. This video is almost a playful little nod to that role.
For "Kiwi," a young girl dressed exactly as Harry, played by Beau Gadsdon, struts confidently through empty hallways holding a Tupperware full of cupcakes color-coordinated to her impeccable suit. She enters a gym set with a centerpiece of cakes, pies, and tarts piled high according to every kid's fantasy, plops down her personal stash, and the food fight begins.
It isn't until young Harry/Beau has to make a mad dash to the pile of sweets that our Harold appears in the doorway with an army of puppies. Why? It's a little unclear, but the best answer is simply, why not?
See the whole dreamy sequence roll out at a laid-back pace for yourself:
All in all, the costumes, the youthful faces covered in pastry war paint, and the little grin we get from Harry at the very and of the video as the "class picture" is snapped achieved their goal. The goal for Harry is always to keep his fans and himself smiling and fulfilled. When it comes to the fictional song that he developed from a joke, on which he released pent-up energy, that he ultimately had a grand old time creating, the video mirrors that perfectly. As for the meaning, we could formulate hypotheses for days, but his fans will run circles around us with speculation.
At the 17:40 mark of the video below, however, is how you'd expect the song to be performed: with flashing lights and ridiculously wide-legged pants at Abbey Road Studios in London. Both realizations hold their own special place in every fan's heart, including my 27-year-old one.