Coldplay’s ‘Magic’ Video Is Beautifully Tragic

April 9, 2014

Oscar Wilde insisted that “Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life”. Sometimes, however,  artists can’t help but imitate life.

Following the sad news last week that Coldplay’s Chris Martin has split from his wife of 10 years – Gwyneth Paltrow – the heart of the band’s latest single ‘Magic’ seems an appropriately tragic reflection of his life.

‘Conscious uncouplings’ are hard enough as it is, but throw into the  mix the tale of a woman in a loveless marriage, whose husband beats her and you’ve pulled the ultimate rabbit from the hat in terms of heartbreak.

This is exactly what Coldplay have achieved in the circus-themed, sub-titled video for ‘Magic’. It’s a fitting tribute to the days of silent cinema and director Jonas Akerlund (who has worked with likes of Lady Gaga and Madonna) brings an abundance of black and white 1920’s drama to the screen.

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Martin plays the role of besotted ‘assistant’ to the beautiful young ‘magicienne’ Cecile (played by Ziyi Zhang of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame). Cecile is in dire need of rescue from her husband, the mustachioed, drunk magician Claude (also played by Martin) and the ‘assistant’ is absolutely up to the challenge.

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And so, the unhappy marriage is broken apart, new love begins.

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Listening to the lyrics “If you were to ask me/ After all that we’ve been through / Still believe in magic?/ Oh yes I do,” one can’t help but feel this song is mirroring the real-life tragedy of his ending marriage.

Behind all the smoke and mirrors of an impressive music video potentially lies the reality –  the heart of the band’s frontman has been “broken, broken into two”.

“Magic” will feature on Coldplay’s forthcoming sixth album “Ghost Stories” set for release on 19 May.

-Lucy Jenkins.



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