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Music Video Breakdown: “Human” by Dodie

Photo from “doddleoddle” on YouTube.

Singer-songwriter Dodie released the music video for her song “Human” featuring Tom Walker on Sept. 21. The video stars Dodie herself and actor Oscar Scott-White, directed by Hazel Hayes. It has an unsettling but endearing tone, and many have compared it to an episode of Black Mirror.

The story follows Dodie as she tries to create a “robot boyfriend”, as the editor of video Jack Howard describes it. While Dodie hasn’t directly elaborated on the meaning, many have speculated that the video is a metaphor for one trying to find someone they can connect with.

The video sets the scene by starting off with various image: a single white chair, a rusted window, a work table with a desk lamp and a box of mannequin arms that appear again later.

Throughout the video, there are continuous cuts between different scenes of Dodie working on the robot and singing to a disembodied face hung up on the wall. This is the face she uses to create her human. Once she takes the face off of the wall, the progress in creating him increases rapidly.

A shot where Dodie’s hands grab one of the mannequin arms from the box shows the contrast between the hands of Dodie and fake hands of her robot. This emphasizes the point that the boyfriend she is creating isn’t a real person, even though he may look like it.

He only seems to react to things that are generally romantic like kissing, dancing, hugging and holding hands. Even so, his face remains expressionless—a metaphor that Dodie is putting more into the relationship than she is receiving. The video cuts to a montage of the two dancing, reading together and holding hands. Dodie smiles more during this montage when compared to the rest of the video.

Then there is a turning point where it dawns on Dodie that the man she created isn’t as human as she thought. She takes him back to the chair spotted earlier in the video and has him sit down. She leaves him to sit alone, but not before turning around for one final glance.

The last shot shows the room in its entirety, littered with bodies that look exactly like the man. One can infer that Dodie tried multiple times to create a human. The video immediately cuts to a black screen once he notices bodies. This is the first time he moves without being prompted to by Dodie, showing that he may, after all, be becoming human.

Through metaphor and imagery, Dodie shows the struggle of failing to find a meaningful relationship.

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