By Courtney E. Smith
For the “Maps” music video, Maroon 5 tell us a story in reverse. Interestingly, it’s the story of a cheating cad as played by Adam Levine.
On its most surface level, this is a video depicting a series of bad choices that lead to the worst possible outcome. That in itself is an engaging enough intellectual exercise, offering a new spin on the “in-reverse” theme for music videos that doesn’t take it down the same road as Coldplay‘s literally in-reverse video for “The Scientist” or Grouplove‘s “Tongue Tied.” Here it is the story line that is done in reverse.
The concept becomes much more salacious, however, when one factors in real-life cues referenced in the video — for example, Levine’s recent (and recently denied) apology calls to all of his ex-girlfriends in advance of his engagement.
True or untrue, the man he plays in this video rolls right into the public perception of him as a bad boy/bad boyfriend. The casting of his real life fianceé Behati Prinsloo as his scorned lover plays into the same notion — whether you spot her or not, you already know Adam Levine only dates models. So when he passes over this girl in the video for a Katie Holmes lookalike, it further reinforces this idea of Adam Levine: not necessarily willing to take a chance on something perceivably below his level.
Continuing the avalanche of playing everyone’s idea of Adam Levine, the singer stars as the terrible ex-boyfriend of Keira Knightley in the film Begin Again, in theaters now.
For those interested in more than Levine’s acting chops, Maroon 5’s new album V will hit stores on Sept. 4.