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Bears in Trees - Great Heights

average rating is 3 out of 5


Isaac Parkinson


Posted on:

Jul 14, 2022

Film Reviews
Bears in Trees - Great Heights
Directed by:
Rakesh Jaitly
Written by:
Iain Gillespie & Rakesh Jaitly
Bears in Trees

A music video that balances youthful abandon with indulgent decadence.


The opening chords of Bears in Trees’ ‘Great Heights’ are percussively accompanied by fast-paced shots of a group of teen boys caught in a hangover trap of squalor. The flecks of light cast off a disco ball spin and probe the walls, hinting at the high-energy fun of the night before. As they all start to rise, the scattered objects are repositioned in an attempt to reorder their chaos.


The texture of the video then changes, moving away from the dank underground space to the endless open of the outside. The boys run and jump, celebrating their freedom and chasing each other with a childlike innocence. Then we are returned back to their subterranean home, to strobing neon lights replacing the sun. One of them searches desperately through a pile of empty bottles for one that is fresh and sealed, looked upon like the holy grail.


The tone of the video becomes more dissonant from the upbeat mood, as the boys knock cups to the floor, shout at each other, and desperately pull at the doors for an escape. Several of them cower on the floor as though overwhelmed by the constant loop of their vices. A kind of anxious tension can be seen in their performances, craving further corruption while still yearning for the release of the outside world.


The colour grading of the external shots is odd, saturated in a sickly yellow. I think the contrast from the fluorescent basement would be better served with a naturalistic outdoor space to accentuate the joy of their possible freedom.


Generally the video, and lyrics, are reflective of both the existential weight and promised expectations forced on teenagers today. The abstract ‘great heights’ are pure conjecture of living in a world with theoretically endless possibilities. Yet in reality, this pressure to achieve or grow can induce a limiting experience of the world. “If we could just make our beds in the morning,” suggests that even the lowest of bars, the simplest of daily activities, is already too high of a barrier to traverse.

About the Film Critic
Isaac Parkinson
Isaac Parkinson
Music Video
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