In the cinematic video for his new song, "Let Me," Zayn Malik plays the role of action star, but he's not the one that saves the day. A blonde character, played by model Sofia Jamora, emerges as the real hero, and fans on Twitter are praising Malik's new video for showing that women can protect themselves — without anyone else's help.
In the clip, Malik's character gets caught in a business deal gone bad. After he sneakily exchanges briefcases with some associates by a boating dock, he heads to a luminous nightclub, where he takes part in a hasty fight scene. Malik emerges victorious, but then a villain, played by Scarface actor Steven Bauer, holds Jamora's character hostage at gunpoint, and points the barrel Malik's way. Just when it seems that all hope is lost, Jamora thrusts Bauer's character's arm upward and flips him over her shoulder before the two ride off together in a cigarette boat. The video boasts even more film-industry cred, as it was directed by Brazilian filmmaker and Narcos producer, José Padilha.
While Malik sings, "If you let me be your man, I'll take care of you," on the track, it seems Jamora's character is doing just fine on her own, and viewers took note.
"Let Me," marks the first single from Malik's still-to-be-announced sophomore album, the follow-up to 2016's Mind of Mine. The tune is a laid-back, electro-pop offering that showcases the former One Direction member's vocal abilities. His falsetto in the first chorus gives way to a full-on belt halfway through the song, and Malik sounds in complete control.
The new song and video have been met with excitement from fans who have been eagerly awaiting new music. Malik has been teasing his new album for months, telling The Fader in September 2017, "It does have a name, and I'm really excited about it." Months later, their patience has paid off, and they're especially applauding the way the clip subverts the inaccurate damsel-in-distress cliché.
Last week, Malik had fans speculating that music news might be on the way when he wiped his Instagram clean of all previous posts. Some people noted that he had done so periodically since 2015, and their predictions were confirmed when on Saturday April 7, he posted a teaser clip for the "Let Me" music video.
Some fans also wondered if the Insta-cleanse had something to do with his recent breakup with former girlfriend, Gigi Hadid, since he deleted all photos with her as well. However, immediately after news of their split broke, Malik tweeted his thanks to fans and emphasized his continued admiration for Hadid, which read:
"Gigi and I had an incredibly meaningful, loving, and fun relationship and I have a huge amount of respect an adoration for Gigi as a woman and a friend. She has such an incredible soul. I'm grateful to all of our fans for respecting this difficult decision and our privacy at this time, we wish this news could have come from us first. We love you all. xZ"
Hadid shared her own emotional statement, assuring supporters that there was no bad blood between the two, expressing that she was grateful for the time they'd shared and the experiences they had. "I want nothing but the best for him and will continue to support him as a friend that I have immense respect and love for," she wrote.
As of now, it seems Malik's focus is on his work, not his personal life, and his new video is timely, reflecting the current climate in which women, who are taking a stand against inequality finally seem to be heard and sparking real change. And based on fans' tweets, that effort hasn't gone unnoticed.