Watch: Rihanna’s ‘Russian Roulette’ music video evokes ’12 Monkeys’

11.13.09 8 years ago
Dark and gloomy and with no linear storyline, the video for Rihanna”s “Russian Roulette” premiered on “20/20” Friday night.  The singer has said that the song is not to be taken literally as a call to play the dangerous gun game, but, rather, it is a metaphor for the dangerous game we all play when we fall in love.

That message is lost in the video that looks like something out of “12 Monkeys.” Rihanna, clad in the funkiest jailhouse outfit we”ve ever seen: designer revealing mini with a hoodie and high heels, leans up against a wall-we know she”s in anguish by her messily coiffed hair. Her tattooed love boy pushes a gun (remember, it a metaphor for love) towards her. She takes it and transported back to the olive green, sterile prison, which then seems to turn into a gas chamber as red plumes pour in. But wait! Somehow, Rihanna has broken free and managed to change into a tan, clinging, long-sleeved mini as she walks down a street. Then she”s under water performing some form of water ballet when she is shot in the heart-but keeps on swimming. Unlike the song, the video ends before the final gunshot, so it seems to end abruptly with Rihanna, out of the water,  and back on dry land, distraught but very much alive.

The video isn”t up on Rihanna”s website yet, but a “making of” that also reveals the plethora of shoes featured in the clip (you may be devastated by love, but who says you can”t look great in your misery) can be seen here.
The video didn”t make us feel any better about the disturbing song. Sure, it”s cinematically shot, but in that way like a bad foreign film leaves you wondering if it”s art and you just don”t get it or is it just intentionally obtuse.

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