Last night was the official YouTube debut of “Downfalls High” — Machine Gun Kelly’s visual album, that revolutionized a new era of music.
The album was 49 minutes long, and featured social media influencer, Chase Hudson, and “Euphoria” star, Sydney Sweeney. The two played the lead roles of star-crossed lovers, Fenix and Scarlett.
MGK’s “Tickets To My Downfall” album contained 15 songs — all of which were included in “Downfalls High”. The video began with the “title track”, as we saw a sad Fenix getting pushed around the hospital in a wheelchair. He was in a straightjacket, but at the time, it wasn’t revealed why.
As the verse transitioned into a heavy chorus, the screen switched between the storyline and his own “Tickets To My Downfall” music video.
“Downfalls High” can be considered a “musical”, but it’s so much more than that. There was scarcely a time where music wasn’t playing. If there were breaks in between each track, it only lasted about thirty seconds to a minute.
The “Tickets To My Downfall” album contained songs about falling in love, sharing a first kiss, losing someone that you care for, learning how to deal with grief, and moving on. It’s a cycle of “firsts”, and MGK did such an amazing job of conveying the message of each song, through his visual storyline. Rapper, Mod Sun, aided MGK in co-writing and co-directing “Downfalls High”.
The love story between Fenix and Scarlett was so organic and pure. Fenix was an introverted teen, who was constantly ragged on, and never stood up for himself. Scarlett associated herself with the popular crowd — which included hanging around the jock who bullied Fenix on a daily basis.
Well, one day, the two met by Downfalls Stadium, and Scarlett initiated their first conversation. She was the only girl at the school who wasn’t repulsed by Fenix. Shortly after, their love story began to blossom.
“drunk face” was playing in the background of Fenix and Scarlett’s first hangout and first kiss.
Fenix made things official with Scarlett by giving her a heart shaped candy, and that scene transitioned into the “Bloody Valentine” music video. This scene was filled with romance, mischief and adventures.
The two were having the time of their lives together, until things took a sharp turn. MGK and Mod Sun did such an incredible job of transitioning from “happy and in love” to “destruction and sadness”.
Scarlett gave Fenix a pink guitar, to pursue his dream of starting his own band. Soon thereafter, they said their “i love you’s” and Scarlett left. Unfortunately, she never came back.
The visuals during this part were a cinematic masterpiece. Rather than showing Scarlett from an outside perspective, the audience got to experience her point of view, when her life was taken in an instant. The shakiness of the camera, mixed with the crash sfx, provided an added emotional effect.
As Fenix sat in front of the ambulance, we saw that turning point. We experienced how Felix’s life changed. Meanwhile, MGK performed his song “lonely” in front of the ambulance.
Flashbacks of the two’s short-lived relationship began to play back in Fenix’s head, and after taking time to grieve, he fulfilled her wish: for him to start his own band.
Fenix’s first band performance was one of my favorite scenes. The audience reacted to Fenix and the rest of Pink SwitchBlade ‘performing’, when in reality, the vocals/instrumentals were from MGK’s “concert for aliens”.
Each track transition was so smooth. During Fenix’s set, Scarlett’s best friend admitted that she was into Fenix. Once Fenix exited the concert venue, her best friend was all over Fenix. She then invited him and his friends to her party, and that’s when “my ex’s best friend’ started playing.
The musical film ended with “play this when i’m gone”. MGK was the only one in the auditorium, as Fenix went up to the podium for his diploma. Only, instead of grabbing his diploma, he grabbed the pink switchblade from Scarlett’s purse, and sliced his ear off.
This was Chase Hudson’s first professional acting role, and he portrayed the character of Fenix very well.
They say that ‘less is more’, when writing any type of film. It’s safe to say that MGK and Mod Sun got their storyline across. The film wasn’t lacking substance, and it wasn’t overbearing. The minimal dialogue was perfect, because we got to see Fenix and Scarlett interact through body language and song, rather than words. It made the film all the more powerful, and interactive to watch.