Wigs were snatched when Beyonce‘s heavily anticipated ‘Run The World (Girls)’ video premiered today but did it deliver half the drama the trailer promised? You tell me.
I’ve been through the motions with this song. I feel like I’ve drawn on the strength and passions of the hardest B stans to make it work with ‘Run The World (Girls)’ and I’ve finally reached this nirvana now where I can shamelessly drop/pop it the minute I hear this track in public.
Sure it’s flopping hard world over but the song is fierce as fuck and better yet, I sensed that ‘Run The World’ will take us mere mortals to a new level of realisation when the video drops.
Judging by the minute-long teaser clip and resounding female empowerment message behind the song, I was ready for a post-apocalyptic girl revolution of a truly global scale. The juxtaposition of fragmented video effects with militia-type editing of army tanks rolling in, war footage and Arabic and Chinese scripts had me prepared for Beyonce to pop out with a bold statement on women’s rights in Middle Eastern, African and Asian countries.
But what transpired in the actual full-length video was a different story.
All the aforementioned elements I was looking forward to were completely omitted from the cut, leaving in its wake a stylishly fierce music video of insufficient substance.
Let’s not try to take anything away from ‘Run The World’ because the production is nothing to be sneezed at. It’s a choreography-intensive masterpiece that commands your attention with its elaborate sets, costumes and entourage of female dancers. They came for us armed with all the elements guaranteed to leave Beyonce fans gagging. Check: ferocious hair flicks, writhing in the sand, and enough of that arresting hand-on-hip stance.
However, director Francis Lawrence (who famously served us Lady Gaga‘s epic ‘Bad Romance’) is known for hemming multi-faceted and visually stimulating projects, and to see ‘Run The World’ peak a few paces before making a true artistic statement is disappointing. This could’ve been a legendary pop music video had it come through with more depth and actually pushed boundaries in the empowering fashion it was set up to.
In my mind, they should’ve launched two versions of the video – a dance-specific cut, which we can all comfortably retitle this one as, and an alternate expanded director’s cut displaying more narrative and “revolution”-type footage.
Check out three highlights of the ‘Run The World’ video and how it hit a nerve:
1) Girls, come combat ready.
Queen B came correct with the choreography here. You can’t deny that the dance sequence slays hard. However, while we’re living for that, just think how much it would’ve upgraded the project if they had them females tearing up shit for real. Imagine shots of women in veils coming out of hiding, B Revolution propaganda posters that reference the 60s Mao types, and shaky camcorder-type shots to give a real sense of being caught in a riot. You see the epic I had in mind?
2) Desert storm fierceness.
This video gives so much editorial realness – we are truly not worthy. The couture creations are a vision and where she had photoshopped alligators on leashes for the B’Day era, now she’s reining in hyenas and posing with a lion at heel. Werk!
3) If you’re gonna say something, really say something.
Beyonce is a classy broad. When she swears on a record, it’s stylishly bleeped out. When she flips a bird in a video, it’s tastefully pixelated. Gurl, I see you roaring and it’s time you let us have it. I feel like so much of this video wants to breakthrough and make an edgy feminist statement but all you really get is just that one-dimensional depiction of female beauty, strength and pride.
If there’s anything to be said about this era of B’s career – with the management shake up and post-hiatus life experiences – is that we’re about to see a whole new, worldlier and experimental side to Beyonce. But the question is, will she really open up and share that with the public or will we be fed another glossy representation of her signature pop vixenry?
Beyonce‘s forthcoming fourth studio album 4 hits stores on 24 June in Australia.
Check out Just Jared‘s notes from the exclusive album listening party.