We really need to talk about how this film connects with the Blood, Sweat and Tears music video, Army!
For those of you who don't know it, 'Chatroom' is a British film from 2010, directed by Hideo Nakata (a Japanese filmmaker perhaps best known for his horror film 'The Ring', and it was referenced in the Blood, Sweat and Tears MV.
The film is about five troubled and partially suicidal friends teens who meet up in an online chatroom and talk about their problems.
Nothing strange about that, right..? Sure it does bare a few resemblances to the HYYH era, but nothing to talk about. You might even ask: How does that connect to BTS?
Well here's how their online chatroom is visually portrayed in the film:
Does it feel familiar yet...?
The wallpaper? The feel of the room? The windows on the floor...?
That's right, it's the room Suga and Jimin are in!
Similar set up, similar wallpaper. Those strange windows on the floor. And that's just the beginning of it all.
In the BST MV, the camera pans from Rap Monster's and Jungkook's room up to Suga and Jimin, and right there is the decisive clue that references this movie.
"Chatroom 2, 3"
Covering that note would have been SO easy if bighit didn't want us to make the association - if it was just where they had bought the set from, for example - and yet it's there, in the final cut of the MV.
The room isn't identical to the one in 'Chatroom' either. It's very close, but the colours are different, doors too and the wallpaper has changed slightly.
So it isn't the same set as in the film, and that means that someone CHOSE to write "Chatroom 2, 3" to label the set. They could have named it so many things, "Room 2, 3" for example, and yet they chose Chatroom.
I can only see this as a clean and clear reference to the film.
Thanks to this decisive clue I had known for a while that there was a reference to this film in the MV, but I didn't include it in my past theory as I didn't have time to go through the film and see for myself how much it actually corresponds.
Let's just say that I was quite surprised by the many correlations.
Allow me to share my findings.
The film opens when the main character, William, walks down an empty hallway. He stops in front of a door, puts up his hoodie (about to do mischief) and takes out his graffiti can.
Already, this made me scream: V!! V! That's V!!
Both in the Prologue and in the Run MV, V's character is the one who does graffiti.
It's a trait that keep comings back for V's character in HYYH.
V particularly enjoys putting graffiti around his friends and then a cross over them too, almost as if marking them for dead.
This characteristic, unfortunately, fits well with the character of William.
(you will see why I say unfortunately)
William is the main character of 'Chatroom' and he actively assists and encourages people online to commit suicide!
He chooses someone and marks them for dead, then doing everything in his power to make the kill themselves.
On a small side note: William pulls up his hoodie as he is about to start his mischief, or is about to do something bad, and V's character does the same.
In I Need U and RUN and in the short film too, J-Hope is having mental health issues and is seen taking a cocktail of pills.
In 'Chatroom' the second main character is Jim, who is highly depressed. His father left him at the zoo when he was just a little kid and that left deep scars.
He has been on anti-depressants since he was 8.
This is the precise reason I was not surprised by the sad past of J-Hope's character in the Highlight Reels, it fit with this story so precisely.
J-Hope's character very much follows in the steps of Jim from Chatroom.
While it's V who acts as a tempter in Blood, Sweat & Tears, in 'Chatroom' William who makes the others do things they otherwise wouldn't.
He encourages sweet Emily to rebel against her parents, convinces Mo to talk to his friend about having a crush on the friend's 11 year old sister, and even encourages Jim to go off his anti-depressants.
These choices and acts of rebellion that William tempts them to make pulls the others into deeper problems.
Mo has a serious falling out with his friend and gets called pedophile.
Meanwhile Jim is completely incapable of handling himself without the anti-depressants.
William, however seems to revel in their misery.
It even makes him smirk.
I've talked about four of the main friends in 'Chatroom'. The last is a young model by the name of... Eva.
Yes, you read that right.
We've probably all read a lot of theories, and perhaps some of you have also read Hermann Hesse's 'Demian' in an attempt to make sense of the short films and the Blood, Sweat & Tears music video.
In 'Demian' Frau Eva is a mother figure to the main character, Sinclair, and he feels a deep sense of love for her. In a way she is also a protective figure to him.
It struck me as interesting that there is also an Eva in 'Chatroom'. In the film she is different from the others in that she sees through William pretty early on and, later on, begins to act as a protector figure.
Her room has hot pink lights btw...
Early on, Eva confronts William about his destructive qualities:
"You don't strike me as a charitable sort of person. What are you going to do?"
"Banish some demons," William answers.
In the Short films the name Eva is mainly a factor in Jimin and J-Hope's story. Both of them are in mental health institutions in RUN and the short films.
William has mental health issues. At the beginning of the film he is in a psychiatric evaluation where he pretty much demands for his treatment to stop. "You can't keep me here," he tells the psychiatrist who really thinks he should stay in care.
In the BST MV Jimin and J-Hope appear to see that there is both a good and an evil realm and they are eager to warn the others. Through their mental health issues their eyes have been opened to the evils of the worlds.
Inside the chatroom, Jimin tries to warn Suga of the evil, but Suga isn't interested in being warned (this is similar to a later scene in Chatroom). Meanwhile J-Hope attempts to stop V from tempting anyone anymore by shooting an arrow at him. Both of them act as protectors, a little like Eva.
Okay let's get back to this in a bit and carry on...
For Eva's birthday William photoshops images of Eva's rival model and ruins that model's career.
Eva looks terrified at what he is capable of, but still thanks him. Despite the obvious dangers, she is fascinated with his power.
Much like how the rest of BTS are fascinated with V's character throughout their storylines. For example when he jumps off that construction in the Prologue.
They see his destructive qualities, but they don't dissuade him from the jump.
Like V's character, William has a darker past. He is having recurring flashbacks of being mistreated as a kid on the internet, inside the chatroom.
He watches these flashbacks from the corner of the chatroom with graffitied black Wings at his back!
Black wings! And that smirk at the sight of misery, even his own. Doesn't this also feel strangely familiar?
William is a very destructive character, and clearly evil, whereas V's character slowly makes the shift over the course of the HYYH era and the short films, but the mounting similarity in their roles seem difficult to ignore, especially as V continues to take on the role of the evil tempter in the Wings Trailer.
Online, William enjoys watching videos of people committing suicide, but just watching isn't enough for him. He encourages vulnerable people to commit suicide and he has a new target: Jim.
He encourages Jim, who can't cope with being off his anti-depressants, to take the step and commit suicide.
Eva discovers William's plans to make Jim commit suicide. She steps in and tries to stop William, to no avail.
Metaphorically it makes me think of how J-Hope shoots and arrow at V, but more so of how Jimin and Suga confront each other in the chatroom, as that's exactly what happens.
Eva and the others enter the chatroom and try to stop William's influence over Jim.
Notice the blue smoke on the screen in the background in this scene?
Just like how Rap Monster and Jungkook appear to be out of it in the BTS music video, under the influence of the drug-like green/blue smoke. Exactly like them, Jim is too far gone too. He is lost and wrapped up in William's lies and he can't hear that the others are trying to help him.
In the chatroom, as Jim is about to kill himself, William kisses him and says:
"what you're about to do - you're a hero to me!"
It's his final push to drive Jim to suicide.
The scene sort of reminded me of Jin's kiss scene in Blood, Sweat & Tears as that is the last push that makes the statue cry colourful tears and makes the Pieta statue's face crack away.
Ultimately, Jim decides not to kill himself and leaves the chatroom, but William chases him in real life. Obsessed with the thought of making Jim kill himself.
The other chatroom friends all meet in real life to catch William. They signal the police and have William cornered.
To escape, William climbs up on a structure and he refuses to surrender. Instead, he jumps down. Or rather falls backwards onto the train tracks right as a train passes.
The scene made me think about V again.
How he jumps from the structure out on the pier in the Prologue, how he lets himself fall backwards into the water, and how he jumps from the terrace in BST.
Furthermore that dark scene with V also looks a little like the very last scene in 'Chatroom', after William dies.
He walks through the corridor of the internet. The lights flash and flicker off as his internet presence comes to an end with his death. At the very end he stands in the dark and looks at the camera.
Those are the similarities I found between the film and the BTS storylines.
Again: the person responsible for the set, or the film editors, could so easily have removed that reference to the film, and yet they kept it in. I'd like to think that there is some significance to that.
A suicidal group of friends get together... that certainly makes me remember the HYYH days...
Suga seems to act destructively towards Jimin at the end and this would have tied in even better if Suga was the one who covered Jin's eyes in the final scenes of BST (as he covers Jimin's eyes at the beginning). Apparently that is what was originally planned too, but Suga's poor acting forced a quick role change.
In a way Suga serves a bit as V's helper and assistant in that he makes the others blind to V's destructive qualities and the danger he poses to the group as a whole.
One final crucial thought:
The chatroom set that show up in BST serves as a visual representation of characters talking together in a non-existant space (in an online chatroom).
Are we to understand that Suga and Jimin aren't really (physically) there either...? And how does this play into Suga tying Jimin up inside this imaginary room?