But when she is suddenly out of the movieas the lyrics say, “A small alleyway split into twelve ways, where can I go to meet you again?” suggests that she has chosen the right path that incidentally also has her meeting those cursed red shoes. The male lead, possibly knowing the ending of the movie is death for her, takes off her red shoes and replaces them with pink shoes. This is the instrument of change used to give her that “Summer time” she sings ofa time where she is free to do as she wishes, to enjoy her life out of the confines of dancing. This is further underlined in the lyrics in the second verse: “They say you can go to better places if you wear better shoes,” telling us that the better places is outside of her movie and that the pink shoes are better for not forcing her to dance.
However, in the end, she is forced to have the same ending as the fairy tale of Hans Christian Anderson. In the original fairy tale, the woman forced to dance, Karen, asks an executioner to chop off her feet and is given a fair of wooden feet and crutches. No matter where she would go though, she would see the red shoes continue to dance with her feet in them. In the MV, we see something less grotesque but nonetheless effective. We see the red shoes follow her and while she runs away, not wanting to go back to her fate of dancing for the entertainment of others, she half-heartedly accepts her fate and is taken back to her movie.
Obviously, the dance component is a major part of the story. IU is not known to be the best dancer but from what we can see of the dance, she carried it well. The dance also reflects the period the movie is supposedly from and fits the jazzy, 1930’s swing feel of the song. She is dressed in fashion similar to the 1920’s and 1930’s. Everything is packaged in a way that, when combined with IU’s acting within the dance, it’ll make for an equally theatrical stage when live stages start. From what can be seen in the MV, it’ll be a performance worthy of the musical style we get from the songsimilar to one of the ending songs we can see from Broadway or West End.