Through the years Justin Timberlake has continued to push himself to new heights as a singer, songwriter, producer, and even an actor. For the most part he has been able to do all this while having many details of his personal life remain private amongst friends and family. However, this is exactly why the story behind the making of his latest music video, “Mirrors” is so significant. For the first time in years Timberlake has pulled back the curtain to let some very personal events in his family life star in the video. By now many people already know that “Mirrors” lyrics are a very personal love letter to his wife Jessica Biel, but the new music video for the song takes the idea to another level emotionally.
The video opens with a dedication to “William and Sadie”, who in Justin’s life are Bill and Sadie Bomar, his grandparents. As soon as the viewer understands that, it is a different viewing experience from that point on. While the song is about Justin’s courtship of Jessica, the video chronicles the 63 year marriage of his grandparents, which proved to have a huge impact on that courtship. Bill and Sadie were together until Bill’s passing in December of 2012, after a long battle with heart trouble and dementia. This back-story explains the video’s opening when we see an old woman packing up a man’s belongings in the house. Next to the woman, we see an old man mimicking her every move, and following her around the room. The knowledge of JT’s grandfather’s passing, and seeing that the man and woman are next to one another without making eye contact, allow us to view this older man as the spirit of JT’s grandfather William. The video then proceeds to show them in flashbacks, as the woman implied to be JT’s grandmother, Sadie remembers different things about their romance.
We see them first meeting, and then enjoying themselves as a young couple. Then, these happy images are followed by what looks to be a rough patch in their marriage. We see them sad, but strengthened by being able to work through their issues. The couple is then seen dancing together years later. The video’s personal connection to Justin is reinforced towards the end of the song, when the older woman who is his grandmother takes her wedding ring off, and lets it fall out of frame. It is then seen falling into the palm of Justin’s hand in another scene. In that scene Justin is found in a house of mirrors. Then, as Timberlake begins to dance and sing the final part of the song that lyrically is personally directed at to his wife, we begin to understand that the catching of the ring symbolized a passing of the union to the next generation.
This scene is particularly meaningful when knowing that Bill and Sadie did not attend Justin and Jessica’s wedding in Italy back in October. At the time JT’s grandfather was too ill to travel, and his grandmother opted not to leave her husband’s bedside, and stayed with him in Memphis. JT made headlines at that time for flying a slice of the wedding cake 5,000 miles back home for them. Bill passed away only months later on December 29th. In an interview with Star Magazine from the end of January, Sadie had this to say about Justin’s reaction.
”Justin was very upset. We all are, really. ” She continued by saying “He and Jessica were here for the funeral on January 2. He loved his grandfather very much.”
You can see how much Justin loves his grandfather in this fitting tribute to him, which serves as a shining example of how love conquers all.
From The 20/20 Experience