Breaking Benjamin have released their long awaited finale to the music video series from Ember. Before we get into the story itself, (spoilers if you haven't seen it yet), let's talk about the cinematic value for the overall series.
In the first installment, "Red Cold River", everything was dark and gloomy. The dull and gray color pallet is a great way to give a sense of depression and sadness. As the story progresses for that video, it stays true to that color pallet all the way to the end. They did an amazing job with the lighting in each scene because mixing the dark color tones with the bright colors allowed the viewer to focus on what they were highlighting in each scene. For example, in the scene where it is revealed that the friend of the main character is the reason his daughter is missing, you'll notice that the light is focused on the culprit rather than the entire environment. This method is common in films, since it highlights what the director wants you to focus on rather than being distracted by what else is in the room. You can read more about my breakdown of that video here.
At the end of "Red Cold River", the color pallet start to change and it leads straight into a different color pallet that is more commonly used to communicate anger and madness. When "Torn in Two starts, you'll see a lot of yellows, oranges and reds. The environment looks great and the director did a great job with giving subtle nods to past music video from Breaking Benjamin. The entire time, you see that the main character is looking for his daughter. The video still keeps the dark color tones in tact while highlighting the new color pallet to give the viewer a new sense of emotions like obsessiveness, danger, anxiety and madness. Towards the end, you can get the sense that the series is far from over. You can read more about my video breakdown of that video here.
"Tourniquet" still keeps the same color pallets used in the other two videos to keep everything consistent. By the time we get to this part of the story, we all know that this is going to be the end so they focus on wrapping things up with all the characters instead of trying to convey a different message with the colors of the environment. They use very quick and exciting looking shots to help tell the story and keep the intensity of the story. The strobes and lighting effect are reminiscent of Tool's "Sober" video. It isn't the exact same effect, but it gives that same since the shots of the band in "Sober" are very choppy and strobe like. As opposed to the lighting in "Torn in Two", which has the lights positioned higher and level with the band, this video has the lights at a lower, almost sunset like, level. This is another tactic that is used in both music videos and film to give the viewer an indication that the end is coming.
Now, let's talk about the events in the video.
The video immediately picks up where it left off. The main character is chained up and brought back to the "demon" character. The main character breaks free from his chains and eventually kills the "demon". In doing so, the powers that were given to him in the first installment have finally worn off and he is no longer the avenger that he has been this entire time. Instead, he becomes normal again. You then see the environment change back to the original setting, his home. He walks in and it's basically a house of horrors. Faces in the wall and warping hallways. As he finds his way into the kitchen, he see's his former friend sitting with his daughter and when he goes to grab him, the culprit and the daughter disappears as if Thanos had chosen them to be eliminated (apparently Thanos's reach isn't limited to the MCU...I'm not crying you're crying.....). The environment finally dissolves and you see this Armus style character standing in front of the main character ready to fight. Of course, the main character doesn't have the same powers as before, so he basically get his butt handed to him. The daughter is standing on the edge of the tar pit octagon and she's watching as her dad is struggling to stand and defend himself. Eventually, he is able to kick(?) the tar monster in the face and he's finally able to reach his daughter. With the connection of their hands, hell freezes over. The Armus wannabe is turned into an ice block and the father and daughter are able to walk away into what looks like the missing music video reference, "Ashes of Eden" from the previous video.
All in all, it's an amazing thing to watch. Very few artists have continued a storyline from video to video like this and it's nice to see that Breaking Benjamin have taken the time to do this for their fans. Check out the video below and see the finale of the Ember series.