Review: Lady GaGa’s new video for ‘Paparazzi’

05.29.09 9 years ago 10 Comments

Lady GaGa

Lady GaGa and her disco stick didn’t hang around for very long: Her label has already released a new video for the next single, “Paparazzi” and is seemingly letting go of “Love Game.”

The”Love Game” video, as dissected by fellow Hitfix scribe Katie Hasty and me here is a fairly boring video. The same can definitely not be said of the clip for “Paparazzi” [Editor’s note: available to view below] which is leaps and bounds above and beyond any of LG’s previous videos (plus, as boring as the verses are, the chorus is pretty darn catchy). Here, we have a deluxe 7:45 minute mini-movie with opening and closing credits.  Directed by Jonas Akerlund, the video opens with Lady GaGa making love to her boyfriend in a gorgeous seaside mansion. She’s at the top of the world: she’s even mastered speaking in Swedish (we think that’s what that is. There’s subtitles and all). Her fame has become so great that she appears on U.S. currency-in the United States of Lady GaGa. But fame is a bitter pill as her boyfriend tries to get her to cooperate with paparazzi shots of their having sex.

She ultimately falls off their balcony and the paparazzi still manage to get their photos, but  Lady GaGa’s in a compromising position of a different sort: broken and battered on the ground, with the tabloids declaring her career, like her twisted body, damaged beyond repair.

But our gal’s nothing if not plucky. And she prepares for her comeback– color- coordinated neck brace, wheelchair  and all– in what is the masterstroke of the video. Her rehab scenes are deliciously perverse, complete with her learning to walk again in a metal leotard that matches her crutches. Interspersed with her “Thriller”-like dance moves, are weird flashes of suicidal and homicidal mannequins, all getting snapped by the paps. It’s gruesome fun.  

In almost every one of her videos, she’s making out with someone and this time Lady GaGa returns to her semi-orgy, kissing and licking three or four boys and girls on the sofa. There is nothing the least bit titillating or tantalizing about it and I can’t tell if that’s on purpose or that Lady GaGa is so purposefully robotic and mannered that  R2D2 seems hot by comparison.

Of course, Lady GaGa triumphs-it is her video, after all. Not only does she learn to walk again, she exacts revenge on her wretched boyfriend by killing him. And this time, the paparazzi are shooting his broken body.  Just as he originally planned to step over her body on his rise to the top, she gleefully gets to dance her way over his all the way into the police car–shades of “Sunset Blvd”-as the papers declare that Lady GaGa is back on top.

The whole thing is about as subtle as a sledgehammer: once you get famous, everyone wants to use you for something and the press may love you when you’re up, but they love you even more when you’re down.

Yes, Lady GaGa is now a star, but I’m not so sure she’s a big as she thinks she is.  Two radio hits and lots of tabloid press don’t  make you a household name. She is very famous in with a certain segment of fans, but she’s hardly ubiquitous and there’s something a little upsetting-even if it’s all in service of a good video plot device-about an artist no one knew about 12 months ago releasing a video that spans that arc more of a 12-year career than a 12-month one.  If she feels  this burnt out and cynical about it all in these still very-early days of her career,  she’s going to have a tough time in the years ahead. But maybe we’re reading too much into it all.

It’s a fabulous-looking video that must have cost upwards of $1 million (does Lady GaGa know that half of that is recoupable?) and boasts the kind of production you don’t really see in anymore in music videos. But it just seems a little early in her career to be making such grand statements….almost as if she better make them now, just in case she doesn’t get another chance.

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