Harry Styles’ performance in the One Direction video for “Perfect,” which appeared Wednesday, is already being hailed by fans as a standout. Watch the video below:
— b&w harry pics (@hesblackwhite) October 21, 2015
The black-and-white video, which has already prompted comparisons to ‘Little Things,’ the intimate, romantic ballad that appeared on One Direction’s Take Me Home album (and which was also shot in black and white), is a far more carefree and yet soulful affair. The ‘Perfect’ vid shows the guys getting up to various shenanigans in hotel rooms, with Niall Horan playing golf by his hotel bed, Louis Tomlinson striking a soccer ball with impressive precision through the bars of a hotel luggage trolley, and Liam Payne audiotooling it up on his laptop (the guys have said they write a lot of their music while touring, and Louis and Liam especially are said to get involved with the production process).
The declaration that “Harry Styles is Art” (the tweeter asked fans to retweet if they agree and the statement had hundreds of supporters within minutes of appearing) may also have been inspired by thoughtful crooner Harry’s habit of posting artistic, moody black-and-white shots on his own Instagram (the most recent snap was an arty take on Harry’s crotch – it shows him pointing cheekily at the camera as the lens pans on his hips, clad in Harry Styles/Jim Morrison-esque super-tight trousers).
The video, which was directed by Sophie Muller, indeed makes good use of light and shade, and of the cityscape that spreads out behind the boys in the wide windows of the New York hotel room. There are moments when the camera pans around the crooners in a way that makes the city seem to rush around them, perhaps emphasizing the difficulty of finding a break/oasis/a bit of privacy amidst the madness of touring and constant attention (or perhaps the difficulty of finding a break from one’s own racing thoughts).
— H&L Updates. (@HLupdates) October 21, 2015
— kimberl(arr)y (@faharrytale) October 21, 2015
Some fans thought the video was a hint about what the One Direction boys will be doing on their break next year:
— 1D Reality Check (@1DRealityCheck) October 21, 2015
Niall Horan’s love of golf is well known, and Louis Tomlinson’s involvement with soccer (the Doncaster hunk very nearly succeeded in his bid to buy the Doncaster Rovers last year, with support from a notorious football personality, the hilariously named Paul Dickov) is also familiar to fans. Liam Payne always hoped to become a solo artist, and became part of the band after manager Simon Cowell opted to put the boys together on the X Factor, and Harry Styles’ prowess with women and fun-filled bed-hopping bachelor lifestyle is certainly no secret to anyone (to be fair to Harry, his journal also appears briefly – is the sensitive star, who is reported to be a pal of philosopher Alain de Botton, going to go all Jim Morrison: American Poet on us during the break?).
— 1D Updates (@We1DUpdate) October 21, 2015
The climactic segment in which Harry lies moodily on a hotel bed, as striking light effects stream across the walls of the room and across the hunk’s own face and body, was also a hit with fans,
— AJ (@AjHoranlicious) October 21, 2015
Not only was the Harry-Styles-in-bed segment popular, it further fueled the speculation (reported by Hollywood Life) that Harry, who co-wrote the song with Louis Tomlinson, meant the song as a dig at ex Taylor Swift.
The reason for this is that Swift’s video for her song ‘Style’ also makes use of moody wall projections, and contains a scene in which a thoughtful hunk stares at a projection of Taylor as objects and patterns move across her skin.
J-14 went so far as to say that the video for One Direction’s ‘Perfect’ “basically confirms” that the song is about Taylor Swift.
— HARRY GIFS (@favstylesgifs) October 20, 2015
— s loves z ୭̥*ॱ (@imperialzjm) October 20, 2015
Some fans were especially taken with the flash of Harry’s tight, tattooed abs and underpants waistband that appears when he “unmakes” the bed, and a GIF quickly started doing the rounds.
— ♛ M ♛ (@lookatnialler) October 21, 2015
— mack (@okaystylesx) October 21, 2015
Harold’s reputation as a charming, gentlemanly guy prompted fans to opine that he probably “felt bad and re-made the bed” after he trashed the room.
— One Direction Update (@the1Dscene) October 21, 2015
— ♛ M ♛ (@lookatnialler) October 21, 2015
— Harry Styles. (@iStylesArmy) October 21, 2015
— Marcos Linya (@MarcosLinya) October 21, 2015
Scenes of Harry dancing in the hallway in a suit (his shirt is thought to be by Gucci) made many people emotional. Harry also briefly dons a silky robe that makes him look a little like a young Hugh Hefner, luxuriating at the Playboy Mansion (at 2:01 Harry even mimes that he is puffing on a pipe, Hugh Hefner-style).
— Harry ♡♡♡ Jenni (@lifeofjennibeck) October 20, 2015
— s loves z ୭̥*ॱ (@imperialzjm) October 21, 2015
— laura (@irrepressiblou) October 21, 2015
— isa + niall (@sunshiinesniall) October 21, 2015
— nat (@daggertattooH) October 21, 2015
— disha ପଓ*·˚ (@NarryMcCuddly) October 21, 2015
All the One Direction guys looked hot in the video. What was your favorite performance? Sound off below.
[Image by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images]