An Unprecedented Collaboration: NewJeans, Ho-yeon Jung, and Tony Leung. Since its debut, NewJeans has been skyrocketing in popularity. Recently, they returned to the spotlight with their second mini-album, “Get Up”. The newly released MV for “Cool With You” brought a surprise by featuring Ho-yeon Jung as the lead actress and Hong Kong film legend Tony Leung in a surprising appearance at the end. Both of them transform into love gods wandering among humans.

Credit: ZAPZEE

Recently, famous Korean Y2K girl group NewJeans has proven to be a true powerhouse. Each new release brings something fresh and exciting.

Their latest single, “Get Up”, from the second mini-album of the same name, is steadily gaining attention. They even collaborated with Craig McCracken, the creator of the American animated series “The Powerpuff Girls”. The members transformed into the Powerpuff Girls for this concept. However, NewJeans went beyond that in their latest MV for “Cool With You”.

Cool With You – The Concept

They meticulously planned out the storyline and not only had Ho-yeon Jung from “Squid Game” and film icon Tony Leung in the lead roles but also had director Shin Yoo-Seok, who previously directed the MV for “Ditto”‘s both A/B versions. The high-quality cinematic feel and story elements made fans want to rewatch it multiple times.

Credit: Glamour UK

In the MV, Ho-yeon Jung, who played the North Korean defector in “Squid Game”, takes on the lead role with her captivating black hair and emotionally charged expressions. She guides us step by step from artistic scenes into her inner world. On the other hand, Tony Leung only appeared for about 15 seconds in the MV with his signature smile, which caused a stir among global netizens.

The song “Cool With You” is based on UK Garage rhythm and was filmed in Barcelona, Spain, creating a vintage atmosphere. The lyrics express the cautious exploration of love when encountering it for the first time.

Similar to “Ditto”, the A/B versions of the MV for “Cool With You” also have hidden, symbolic storylines. Fans have analysed that both versions draw inspiration from the Greek myth of “Cupid and Psyche”: the story of Venus, Cupid, and the mortal woman Psyche. In Greek mythology, the love god Cupid falls for the mortal woman Psyche. Despite numerous obstacles, they end up together. Psyche ends up a goddess, making it one of the rare happy endings in Greek mythology.

“Cool With You” Story Analysis, A&B Versions MV

In part A of the MV, Ho-yeon Jung portrays the god of love who ignites the flames of love between a couple upon their first meeting. She plays as the matchmaker for countless couples and possesses the ability to predict the weather in advance. Despite all this, she remains lonely. She performs monotonous tasks day after day. One day, while standing in front of a painting of the love god, she meets a man she’s drawn to and starts following him. Gradually, she becomes unsatisfied with this one-sided affection.

Witnessing one of the couples she matched breaking up, she begins to question the purpose of being the god of love. If all her efforts are in vain, why can’t she let go of her duty and pursue her own love? Confused and driven by personal desire, she stands in the pouring rain, willingly giving up her divine mission in exchange for becoming mortal. The enigmatic observer NewJeans witnesses it all.

The story continues in part B. Ho-yeon Jung has successfully become mortal. She immediately goes to her loved one’s home, and both quickly fall in love. They enjoy a period of blissful romance. However, on an ordinary day, as they meet across the street, Ho-yeon Jung notices a more powerful love god appearing behind her boyfriend.

With just a glance, her boyfriend loses interest in Ho-yeon Jung and forgets their past relationship. Watching her past lover become a stranger, Kelly Cheung turns her gaze to the girl behind her, deciding to help them create their own happiness as a couple.

On the Other Hand…

Another interpretation is that Ho-yeon Jung didn’t play a role in bringing the two together; instead, Tony Leung intervened. Some netizens also suggested that NewJeans, who watched Ho-yeon Jung’s actions throughout, might represent a kind of messenger or overseeing goddess. They appeared as mortals around Ho-yeon Jung, reminding her of her identity and notifying the more powerful Tony Leung about Ho-yeon Jung’s crossing the line.

After losing her lover, Ho-yeon Jung reached out to NewJeans, who witnessed everything. The music of “Cool With You” also comes to a close. With the sound of “Get Up”, Ho-yeon Jung gives a mysterious smile and walks away. This meaningful ending raises the question of whether the story will continue.

NewJeans: Writing a New Chapter in the Korean Wave’s History

Credit: NME

Ho-yeon Jung made her acting debut with “Squid Game” and gained phenomenal recognition. Afterwards, she focused on developing her career as a model. This time, she returns to the MV of “Cool With You” as the lead actress, allowing audiences to appreciate her acting skills again.

On the other hand, Tony Leung, the film legend ingrained in the memories of several generations of Hong Kong people, collaborates with a Korean girl group for the first time. Though his appearance lasts only a few seconds, it brings a surprising twist to the storyline, leaving a lasting impression.

According to reports from Korean media, the behind-the-scenes story of the two actors was revealed by ADOR, NewJeans’ management company. The MV director and ADOR’s producer, Min Hee-jin, sent the script to Tony Leung through a mutual friend. Tony Leung found the role intriguing, and because it was such a short scene, he decided to perform “without compensation”. Tony Leung also mentioned that he felt a strong connection and wanted to give a small gift to Korean fans.

In the MV, NewJeans serves as observers, seamlessly fitting into the storyline. In the A version, the five members take on roles like art gallery guides and cafe staff, witnessing the lead actress’s every move. In the B version, they wear light blue ballet-style outfits and dance, increasing the story’s pace. The beautiful vocals run throughout the song, conveying the turmoil within the lead actress’s heart.

NewJeans’ planning this time has once again exceeded expectations, setting a new chapter in the history of the Korean Wave.

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