Just like the wildest dreams you keep coming back into within the subconscious, we revisit the compelling visual masterpiece of Nadine Lustre and try to crack the code from its mix of metaphor, motion, and music.
Close to a month ago, just mere days before the highly-anticipated drop of Wildest Dreams, we chanced upon Nadine Lustre in the darkened corner of their Brooklyn-inspired headquarters. In the dimly lit room, the space was set for one of the many pocket viewings of what was then a rough edit of the 33-minute visual album, and while she didn’t necessarily show it, she was clearly deflecting a bundle of nervous energy as she dazzled herself with a light-up yo-yo. The tension was understandable, especially since this was a pure project of passion for her. A return to what really fuels her in full conviction, this was Nadine Lustre taking us into her mind and soul, making us understand who she is according to her, and not what we have decided to know of her.
“There I was, living unawake, allowing myself a buried courage on earth; allowing myself, a soul to be shared. Dreams brought to life, an overdue passion comes knocking,” beckons a disembodied voice from the void of darkness. Soon, a speckle of light materializes, illuminating our heroine dangling mid-air enveloped in a cloud of smoke. “Dreams called to me unraveling, my path unraveling, our paths unraveling. Knock, knock, knock, knock. Am I sleeping or finally awake?” And with an ominous rhythm of pounding drums and a jolting crack of lightning, so begins the slow awakening of Nadine Lustre in Wildest Dreams.
Essayed in different states of becoming, Nadine Lustre traverses the subconscious in an increase of confidence. From the foretold of her past, this is where she begins to break through the veneer of her image, slowly leaning into the encouragement to feel (Dance With Danger). Here, we plummet into an even deeper trance-like spiral akin to that of Alice In Wonderland, where she shatters the orchestrated façade and preconceived notions of her reputation and allows herself to forge her own person (White Rabbit), to love herself, to trust her own vision (Glow), to be one with others (Ivory), and finally, to follow her dreams (Grey Skies).
Cloaked in a mix of metaphors set to music and motion, this is by all means the personal telling of Nadine Lustre. In her own words and vision, the fragments of time, space, and imagination become the landscape for her to sculpt who she wants to be for herself and not for anyone else. “This is really who I am. This is all of me,” she says during our quick debriefing following the viewing of the Wildest Dreams visual album. Just as one of her poetic incarnations in the cinematic exposition says, “Binigay ko ang lahat sa inyo, minahal ko kayo. At ang tanging hinihiling ko ang pagmamahal ninyo.” In opening up to this creative endeavor, breaking herself further than she has ever done in the name of art, she is giving you everything to define an identity separate from the star placed high up in the galaxy of entertainment.
In the coming together of Careless Music, Zoopraxi Studios, excutive producers Lox Valiente and James Reid, director Dominic Bekaert, and Nadine Lustre, we are whisked into this heightened fantasy of emotional storytelling, animation, fashion, and choreography that makes the appreciation and understanding of Wildest Dreams a profound experience. Just like the music videos of the 90s and turn of the new millennium ala Janet Jackson, Aaliyah, and TLC, there is a lot to take in, sure. But these visceral chapters form a narrative that while unique to Nadine, can easily be your story, too. Wherever you figure in the narrative, there is a place for you to embark on the same path of enlightenment and be your most you. This is most realized in the lead single and fitting punctuation to the visual album, Wildest Dreams.
“I need to breathe, falling deep into the water. Stuck in a dream, everything I touch is treasure,” she sings. “I see the flowers blooming, days are moving, sun is shining. We’re just cruising, falling deep into the water. Live in the moment, we’re just starting.” At this point of her catharsis, Nadine Lustre is relents to the shift she has just gone through in perhaps many cycles of slumber. Threading the loose ends of her dreams, she comes to the binding knot with a compelling resolve. While it stands to remain an unknown to the audience, this is her poetic privilege. Stirring from her lucid dreams, she locks her gaze off-camera, setting her sights perhaps into another great unknown to conquer.
Is she finally awake then? Only she knows—and we will give her that pleasure of keeping into herself until she is ready to tell us another story of her wildest dreams.