U2 VidWorks – Electrical Storm

Usually, in videos like the one that U2 made to promote their song “Electrical Storm,” I feel a strong preference for the parts of the video that show the band together performing the song. This video is the exception to that rule in that the little story of the video, which focuses on Larry, is very strong and works quite well. Here’s the lowdown, in case you haven’t seen the video.
Actress Samantha Morton stars alongside our favorite drummer in this video. She plays a mermaid whom Larry carries out of the sea. The two begin a relationship, and there are some wonderfully sexy moments captured between the two. The video begins with a short shot of the ocean, then we see Samantha running, The view then shifts to another shot of the ocean, only this time, Larry is emerging from the water, carrying a television. He subsequently carries various things out of the water–a suitcase, the mermaid herself, and a bathtub for her to recline in. We also see the pair meeting in an alleyway, away from the water.
Samantha was a good choice for the female lead in this video, because she really is a good actor. I don’t know how much of a U2 fan she might be, but watching her in this video one could almost believe that she has been aching for Larry for years. She touches his face and his neck, and kisses him seductively. There’s no nudity or anything…everything is tastefully done…but the video really is pretty steamy. Larry doesn’t have to do a whole lot of emoting in this video; that’s not his style, and besides, Samantha does all of the emotive work for him, but what he does do is really quite good. I can see how and why Larry caught a small case of the acting bug after appearing in this video. (If you didn’t know, following this video, Larry took roles in two films–“The Man on the Train,” alongside Donald Sutherland, and, later, “1,000 Times Good Night,” with Juliette Binoche.)
One might think after viewing the first half of this video that it is a simple love story, but things turn on their head in the second half. Our couple has an epic fight in the alleyway, and Samantha screams “I hate you!” At Larry. Following this exchange, we are treated to some fantastic footage of U2 performing their song. I always enjoy watching U2 perform, as they are all such experts at their jobs at this point, end even when they were not experts, they had charisma on their side. We are then taken back to Larry and Samantha on the beach, with some wonderful footage of fireworks exploding in the night sky over Samantha’s head. Larry carries her back into the water, and she swims away. Anton Corbijn has directed several short videos for U2, but I believe that this is his best effort. How do you feel about this video? Is the sexiness carried too far, like some feel, or is it just right? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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Ever since I realized as a kid, while poring over the liner notes of the Bob Marley - Songs of Freedom boxed set, that writing about music was a viable career choice, one of my greatest desires has been to write about U2. The band has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to contribute a little something to the fantastic online community that's been built around the band.

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