The Scientist – into the world with Coldplay

a simple drive

When choosing related material, students should consider selecting a different text type to their prescribed text. Music videos are rich and detailed texts that provide several modes for analysis: film, music and lyric.

Consider whether a particular music video has either common ideas and themes OR contrasting contexts and concepts. Try to identify at least five specific techniques or features with examples are clearly explained and link to the main ideas of the prescribed text. Aim to write at least two analytical paragraphs for each related text.

As a related text, the contemporary context of Coldplay’s The Scientist seeks to entertain an international audience. We are encouraged to contemplate the difficult situation of a relationship breakdown following a traumatic incident – the loss of life following a car crash.

The narrative music video is in reverse chronology which cleverly illustrates the notion of regret, echoed in the lyric “Take me back to the start”.

An overhead shot establishes the lonely individual in the opening sequence reinforced by the solo guitar. Conscious thought is suggested through the daylight setting of the urban world, contrasted with the darker moments in the forest. These two worlds are symbolically separated by the rail tracks walked by the persona as he thinks through his options. The first person lyrics convey an emotional perspective that is reiterated during the chorus and lines such as “Nobody said it would be easy”. The final scene fades into black and the audience is left to consider the impact of choices made, such as removing a seatbelt and leaving the scene of an accident.

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