Stromae - Papaoutai

18 January Critic Jonni 0 Comments


Papaoutai - Stromae |

This song keeps randomly playing on my iTunes and I automatically sing along to it. The main reason is because it sounds very similar to the Eurovision 2014 song "Moustache" which was released by Twin Twin, after this song was released. I can definitely see the resemblance. Both are catchy nonetheless; and since I haven't reviewed this one, today's as good a day as any. Watch a son try to interact with his father but he's not there at all, in Stromae's "Papaoutai". Where are you, daddy?

Stromae, real name Paul Van Haver, has really established himself as a Belgian singer-songwriter. He already stormed the charts globally in 2009 with "Alors on danse", it even charted in the UK at number 25. Unfortunately, this worldwide successful song "Papaoutai" didn't make the UK chart; however, it was another international success for Stromae. This is the case with many well-known songs that does well in Europe. However, recently, success has managed to cross over to the UK as well, and it's likely that Stromae could come back harder than ever. If he's already managed this, just think of what else he can do. This song was written by Stromae.

Directed by Raf Reyntjens, the music video revolves around a son trying to interact with his father, who is played by Stromae. The whole idea comes from the song which is about his father's absence in Stromae's life. His father was killed in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.

It's set in what looks like Call of Duty's Nuketown. The boy sees all the other children dancing in the street with their respective parent and he wants to do the exact same, only his father is a mannequin and totally not completely there.

It gets to the point where the boy gets so annoyed, he rants by singing along to the lyrics of the song and interpreting them into a brilliant contemporary dance sequence that totally explains what he is singing. Who cares if you don't know French, this music video is a brilliant interpretation of the lyrics.

At the end, we see his father give a bit of a smile before the boy sits down on the couch next to his father and copies the position he is in, his eyes go blank and he too becomes a mannequin much like his father. Talk about following in your father's footsteps. This is the mannequin challenge before it even became a thing.

Overall, this is clearly very personal, and at times it affects the viewer in exactly the way it is meant to. The choreography is nailed in every way, and the boy is definitely a brilliant character, who easily encompasses the role. This is a magical music video that deserves so much more recognition. It accompanies the song amazingly and is one of those music videos I'll never forget.
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