Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Backup Dancers From Hell: Lady Gaga - "Bad Romance"

Holy cow this is a busy video. So let’s get going…

We start out with all these freaky-looking people in a white room. For those of you who know movie history, think Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” crossed with any movie that Ken Russell ever directed. No one looks very happy but that’s not stopping them from posing artfully…

We zoom in on Gaga, and I do mean zoom in. You can almost see France, if you know what I’m saying. The camera closes in on her fingers with weird chicken-wire nail polish as she pushes a button on this thing, and then all hell breaks loose.

First we have several shots of these odd pod things (maybe tanning beds? incubators for the Gaga army that is about to take over the world?) mixed with shots of alcohol bottles. Then a helpful title appears explaining that this is the “Bath Haus of Gaga”. Really? I never even want to go there and I’ve only seen ten seconds of it. Please take me off your mailing list. Thanks.

The pods open, and hoo boy, some surprising little things crawl out. They’re human, thankfully, but they appear to be sheathed in white latex. Even their faces are covered and the top of their heads have white spiky things. They start to line dance, with Lady as the lead dancer, which I guess you would naturally do when exiting a pod at the Gaga Bath Haus. No telling where this is going now.

Oh, looks like we’re going to a bathtub, where Lady is sporting an Annie Lennox-on-acid hairdo and proving that she is very limber by basically throwing her leg over her head. We also have another room where Lady is dressed in black and singing to herself in a mirror, with a black spiky hat that sort of matches the dancing pod people. So she’s a bad pod person?

Now we cut between the three: the line-dancing white pod people, the Lady wallering around in the bathtub, and the Lady that just wants to look at herself in a mirror (oh, and sort of play with her nether region just because she can). This goes on for a while.

Side note: the quick cut where Bathtub Lady is looking off to the side and then rolls her head forward and does the thing with her eyes? Totally wild, and possibly my favorite bit in this video crammed full of images designed to impress you with the fact that Lady Gaga’s life is obviously way more exciting than your own.

Just as we kick into the chorus (I guess it’s the chorus. It’s hard to tell with Lady Gaga songs.) some rude women break in and try to drag Bathing Lady out of the bathtub. (She just wants to be clean, people, let her scrub the dirtiness away if she wants to.) She puts up a fight but they eventually get her out and tear off her blouse to show their displeasure with her actions.

Yes, Bathtub Gaga was bathing while clothed. Just accept and go on. To show HER displeasure with their rudeness and the rending of her garment, Lady then thrusts her breasts at the interlopers. This is now officially a catfight, so the rude women up the ante by forcing Bathtub Lady to drink some mysterious clear liquid.

In the mean time, we have another version of Lady Gaga, this one surprisingly free of avant garde outfits and accessories. And she’s acting all emo. Is this Vulnerable Gaga? Does such a thing exist? Is this a trick?

Okay, now we’ve got another Lady Gaga, or maybe this is one we’ve already seen, it’s getting very confusing. This one is sporting an outfit covered in graffiti. But rude go-go booted women rip it off of her, so maybe this is really Bathtub Gaga, since there were rude women in the bathtub scenes. Once the graffiti is gone, we see that this version of Gaga is sporting skimpy beaded thingies that really don’t cover much. Then the rude women pick her up and lug her to a group of men.

While Beaded Gaga and her cohorts suddenly start line-dancing for the men, we get shots of another Gaga, or maybe an extra, don’t know, who is nude, looking really anorexic, and I think she’s taking a shower, but I don’t really see any water. Whatever she’s doing, she’s very skinny.

Beaded Gaga and the Gaga-Ettes continue to line dance for the men, eventually ending up on their knees crawling toward the men while Gaga sings “I want your love.” That’s great for the self-esteem, crawl up to a group of men, begging for their love. Do these women realize they can actually vote these days?

Oh, it turns out that these men are actually bidding to “win” Lady Gaga, as we can see by the voting results on convenient laptops off to one side. (At first, I thought Lady Gaga was just obnoxiously showing her sky-rocketing profits. I had to rewind.) One of the guys apparently wins, but first the women have to do another line dance. Not sure why. Maybe it’s protocol.

It’s a long line dance. While this is going on, we get jump scenes of Lady Gaga in lots of other outfits. (The costume budget on this video must have been enormous.) We have Gaga in black bra and panties, standing still in a frozen spray of ice cubes while the camera circles. There’s Gaga in some type of metal gear where I think she’s explaining the solar system.

And then we have Gaga in this golden outfit that is totally out there, with a hairdo that looks like she has a loaf of bread shoved up in that mess and making her look like Gary Oldman in Francis Ford Coppola’s version of “Dracula”. My guess is that most of the fashion budget went right there.

Eventually we get to the part where Gaga has to go… sleep? trade outfits?… with the guy who bought her. And we start jump-cutting all over the place. We re-visit almost all of the Gaga’s, and there’s a new batch of line dancers, this time dressed in skimpy red but just as flexible as the other team.

As Purchased Gaga approaches the bed where the winner is waiting, she apparently uses her mystical powers to set the bed on fire. (I hope the poor guy bought the maintenance plan for this product as well, because I don‘t think the regular warranty is going to cover destruction of bedding.) The jump-cutting to all the Gaga’s intensifies, but mostly focuses on the red line dancers where Gaga has picked up yet another hairdo somewhere along the way.

Final scene has one of the Gaga’s (I have no idea) in the scorched bed. Her purchaser is just bones, but she seems to be fine other than her breasts appear to be short-circuiting. The camera slowly pans backwards while a snippet of classical music plays, yet another tribute to film-making, and another reminder that Lady Gaga is all about The Art.

Lesson learned? Take a bath at home. You’ll be glad you did. There’s no need to bathe in a public setting, because it will just lead to singing, dancing and death by fire.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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