Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience may very well be his most personal record to date, so it’s not surprising that his brand-new video for that album’s second single, “Mirrors,” is the most personal of his entire career.
Of course, on rare occasions in the past — like, for example, “Cry Me A River” — Timberlake has pulled back the curtain on his private life, but here, in a striking new clip directed by Floria Sigismondi, he gives us more than just a fleeting glimpse. The video opens with a dedication to his grandparents, William (who passed away late last year) and Sadie, and essentially tells the story of their entire relationship, from teenaged courtship to adult strife, old age and beyond.
Though it is never implicitly stated, one quickly realizes that “Mirrors” also details the grieving widow, who, alone in the bedroom she shared with her husband for decades, mourns her deceased husband: She clutches one of his old dress shirts, thumbs through old books, remembers good times and bad; and though both actors share the screen, they rarely — if ever — actually embrace … it’s as if he only exists to her as a memory, and that they are forever united, they will truly never be together again.
William and Sadie Bomar, Justin’s grandparents, were married for 63 years, and according to reports, his failing health prevented him from attending Timberlake’s wedding to actress Jessica Biel . The “Mirrors” video makes a passing reference to this, in a scene where his grandparents’ wedding ring falls through the air, only to be caught by Timberlake, who then embarks on a lengthy, and quite wrought, dance sequence. The message appears to be clear: He will carry on their legacy, even if he’s not sure he’ll be able to.
It’s a clip that packs an emotional wallop, a downright beautiful examination of the ebbs and flows of love and the true connection that continues once our time here is over. That’s a rare thing indeed, and so is this video … it is understated and elegant and really truly touching. And it proves that, despite all his “Suit & Tie” swagger, Justin Timberlake is just like the rest of us: capable of looking back, humbling himself and paying tribute to things greater than himself. He’s human after all.
What do you think of Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors?” Let us know in the comments below.