Broken Wings by Alter Bridge is one of the successes of the US band, with a very special video, a kind of psychological horror. The single was released in 2005 and the middle-aged man starring in the video is actor Paul Guilfoyle. Guilfoyle is famous for playing police captain Jim Brass in CSI – Crime Scene.
Alter Bridge are used to make videos where they play but this also shows a story that intertwines with the band’s images.
The story of the video: a black car, a hitchhiker and a crime
The video starts with a man who hitchhikes. A black car stops and it gets him on board.
The driver is a middle-aged man, dressed in black and wearing a hat and … he has no good intentions! With a fist, he stuns the hitchhiker and loads him into the luggage van.
He then goes to an old hotel, gets out of the car and polishes his shoes, as if to exorcise his crime. He meets people who look at him in a very strange way; probably the man feels strangely observed, because he has a dirty conscience! These people look at him with eyes of ice, as if they knew what he did. He stealthily opens the luggage van to take his briefcase and when he closes it, the people who once looked at him are all gone! There is only a little girl with a teddy bear who takes him by the hand and leads him into the hotel.
He orders a room and goes upstairs. As he walks down the corridor, the people look at him through the half-open doors of the rooms. The man opens the door of his room and enters.
He arranges his things and realizes that the old TV is turned on and is projecting a film of people who hide behind the trees, imitating the steps of the man.
The man then eavesdrop on the room that borders with his and suddenly sees a drill that pierces the communicating wall. Look through one of the holes, but remain blinded by the light. He goes to the bathroom and his eyes water. Reflected in the mirror he sees his soul angry. Meanwhile, his shadow detaches from him and tries to hit him, he tries to escape from the room but the handle breaks.
The final scenes see the man who leaves the hotel and is changed: the people who looked at him badly welcome him and he embraces the girl.
The meaning of the Broken Wings video by Alter Bridge
In my opinion the video is closely linked to the meaning of the lyrics and it is metaphorical. The man who hits the hitchhiker represents an ordinary man who makes a mistake in his life. When the human being is wrong, he tries to hide what he has done (the protagonist of the video hides the body of the hitchhiker in the luggage van).
An old proverb reads: “When you think no one has seen you, at least one has seen you. When you think someone saw you, all the people saw you. “It means that when you do something wrong, somebody or more has seen you. This is what happens to the man in the video who feels observed, as if everyone knew.
His soul rebels and forces him to a purification, as in the book “Crime and Punishment” by Dostoevsky. In the end he understands his mistakes, his soul is free and returns to the people.