Please note that this review contains spoilers…
One of the great things about this documentary is the cinematography. So far there appears to be a certain aesthetic for each episode. In the first episode, everything was brightened, and the shadows softened. In this episode, black and white imagery is key, as featured in the opening BTS performance at the Skydome concert in Korea.
Member J-hope realises that this is their first world tour since the group’s Red Bullet Tour back in 2015. Through this reminiscing, Suga talks about the group’s growth and how he would like to show his own growth as an artist to their fans since their last world tour. A key thing to note here is that the artists are talking in a private interview, and through this they are baring their faces, now with makeup. Contrary to many K-pop or Korean culture fans, not all men in Korea feel the need to wear makeup, which goes against the whole K-idol regime.
When BTS were interviewed for the site back in Berlin in 2014, they had a cheeky charm, but also showed the undertones of adults. That was four years ago and the group had only just debuted. Something that definitely comes over from the individual interviews of the members in the documentary is just how much they have grown as men, as artists and as individuals. They are a lot more mature than what is perceived on TV shows or even on their own V-live and YouTube shows. It’s heartwarming.
In true BTS style it seems that the group work well with their crew who help create the concerts, as well as leaving them and trusting them to know what they are doing to put on a great show. The members also get their hands dirty and pass off ideas to create a better impact for fans. They aren’t just songwriters, actors, performers, and music makers, they are also getting their education in the production of concerts.
Jungkook states, “This year is an important one. It’s a very special year.” However, there is a sense that the rest of the group agree with him and feel the same. Especially when the tour finally kicks off. Across the screen, a title page reads “The Wings Tour D-Day, Korea Seoul – 18-19. 02. 2017”. We also see an extremely large crowd of fans flooding into the concert hall. This is one of those moments that every person needs to experience; there is nothing more frightening and exciting than being one of the people in a crowd as big as the ones that BTS are able to sell out to.
RM shares his own worries about the concert at the start of the tour when he states, “As an idol star, an artist or a performer, this will be a show that will test me.” Scenes of the concert flash across the screen, showing the true scale and cost. No matter what anyone says, there is a completely different cost and feeling between an international concert and that of a concert on their own home ground.
Throughout this episode, BTS members talk about their feelings and thoughts towards their fans. Suga states that “We need to perform with a sense of duty” with RM explaining how he doesn’t want to see the fans as just fans, he wants to meet them face-to-face and see their personalities. He would like the fans to not just see the members as idols to be idolised, but more as friends who will listen and be there for the fans through troubling times. There seems to be a unified admiration of their fans and the group show a dedication to repay them with good performances that both the idols and fans can be proud of.
In true BTS style, the members celebrate J-hope’s birthday after their first concerts in Korea, but with their playfulness and excitement heightened, Jimin pushes the birthday cake onto Suga’s back and it falls onto an expensive brand bag. It’s one of those moments that will make every fan laugh out loud. The scene then cuts to the members wandering around an aeroplane looking worried; it turns out that the forever clumsy RM has lost his passport. Through his great use of English, they find it and are allowed to enter Chile for their first international leg of the world tour.
Social media plays a huge part in the BTS and A.R.M.Y. fandom. Interactions with the members are daily and although a lot of fans believe that their messages go unseen, J-hope proves that they do monitor what fans are writing or posting on their social media. J-hope talks about his happiness and pride in seeing fans cover their dances and songs, and how precise the fans can be by picking up each member’s personal habits. He says it gives him goosebumps. The keyword that all of the members associate with their fans when asked to explain them is “Energy”.
Some truly heartbreaking moments happen once the group reach Chile. Jimin becomes a point of focus when he gets ready to perform his solo song Lie. The video cuts between his performance and after the performance. Exhausted, angry, and disappointed, it turns out that Jimin’s voice had cracked twice and his microphone had slipped as well. Even after a stern reassurance from a crew member, Jimin looks as if the world has ended. In a private interview clip, he explains how he continuously feels pressure when he has to perform his solo song and how it gives him extreme anxiety, which is evident in this clip as his voice fades to a whisper and he gets tearful.
Halfway through the concert the boys look completely worn out, but Jungkook is in a seriously bad condition. He is really unwell and the members begin to worry and voice their concerns. We see images of Jungkook looking like he was about to collapse and faint, heavy breathing, pouring with sweat and his eyes rolling as the room spins. Crew members then try to strip him of his clothes and fan him whilst applying ice packs to his neck, face and arms. In a private interview, Jungkook explains that he felt jetlagged, his body was rundown and he had a slight bug. Also, being up in the mountainous atmosphere where oxygen levels were low and the weather is hotter than he was used to all contributed to his ill health.
Showing brotherly love and leadership in the group, RM shouts at Jungkook, “Are you okay? Jungkook slow down, go easy for me, slow down. You will pass out, don’t overwork yourself.” This is in fear for his fellow youngest member as well as for the show and the fans. RM explains in his interview that Jungkook has a habit of not letting anyone know when he is ill or having a hard time, so it is usually impossible to know when something is wrong. For Jungkook to call out for help and to be seen in that state was a fluke, and shows the severity of his position at that time. But in true K-idol style, Jungkook gets back up, still really poorly, and performs to a high standard as if nothing is wrong.
Jimin finishes episode 2 with his explanation of how the group strive for perfection, or how they must at least to do a good enough job for the fans. They truly dedicate their time, lives and talents to live for their fans. This episode will leave you with nothing but pure admiration for the boys, the hard work they put in and dedication to their fans.
Episodes one and two are now available on YouTube Red. Episode one is free, while each episode from two onwards has a charge of £1.89 to view.