Imagine Dragons is taking music videos up a notch.
In a surprising turn of events, Imagine Dragons has released the harrowing video for its latest single “Next to Me.”
The just-shy-of 12 minutes short film was directed by Mark Pellington, the director of videos such as Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” and U2’s “One,” who believed that the emotional ballad deserved so much more than the usual four minute vignette.
It’s raw, emotional power needed something bigger, something heavier to convey its message.
The hard-hitting short follows Reynolds as he finds himself down on his luck and out of desperation makes a terrible choice in shooting a pawn shop cashier. He winds up in jail and finds himself on death row.
This takes him far away from his significant other, played by Reynolds’ real life spouse, Nico Vega singer Aja Volkman, It’s a question of whether or not someone can be redeemed for a mistake at the end of their lifetime.
Of the darker video treatment, Billboard reports lead singer Reynolds saying,
“Mark really pushed me into an uncomfortable space and in a lot of ways he opened up my eyes to a whole different world.”
In taking inspiration from films such as The Shawshank Redemption and Cool Hand Luke, Pellington was able to create two scenarios as Reynolds walks towards his end: the reality and the dream of being with his beloved and creating a life together, a life of happiness.
“The basic through line is of a man seeing all this before his execution, being forgiven and loved by his wife and nature and the end result being what he wanted — but also allowing himself to go to that dark scenario.”
The single about enduring love comes from their 2017 release Evolve. “Next to Me” was preceded by three singles, including the smash hit “Thunder.”
Imagine Dragons are currently hitting the road on a global tour. Dates and ticket information can be found here.
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Watch: Imagine Dragons Next to Me