Lana Del Rey‘s ‘National Anthem’ was the perfect combination of reminiscing on the Kennedy’s regal beauty and appreciating a nontraditional beauty, a beauty that now-in-days is called SWAG.
The music video began with Lana Del Rey embodying the persona of Marilyn Monroe, by singing the infamous “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” song to A$AP Rocky, aka JFK. She refrained from wearing the blonde wig (good call), and instead captured Monroe perfectly through an alluring seduction. I was pleasantly surprised by this introduction because I thought she was only going to act as Jackie O.
The video then goes on to capture intimate moments between the classic couple with a modern twist. The cinematography, here, is pure perfection, which comes to no surprise because of who directed it: Anthony Mandler. Mandler has worked on everything from The Killers‘ “We Are Young” to Rihanna‘s “Unfaithful”.
The scenes are shot in a way that is nostalgic because of the tone and filtering set. Yet, the video also captures a modern day feel because of what the new JFK and Jackie O are doing. You have A$AP Rocky wearing more gold than ever before and Lana Del Rey smoking cigarettes while cutting her food at the dinner table (in the most elegant and sexy way possible, I might add). The combination provides for the best symbolism ever, suggesting a recreation of something beautiful- that is now lost.
Lana Del Rey looked beautiful throughout the entire video, undoubtedly, with her Jackie O ensembles. But behind the pencil dresses, the same Lana we all have grown to love remained. She held her own with the boys (which is difficult when you are hanging around A$AP Rocky). If anything she had more swag than most. What best captured her subtle fierceness, for me, was when the couple danced at the party. This scene also proves what great chemistry the two had. I wouldn’t be surprised if they announce a relationship after this.
To pin point what scene I enjoyed the most is difficult. From playing with their beautiful kids, to single shots of Lana in the rose garden- every scene was thoughtfully shot and executed wonderfully.
Even an ending that could have gone south easily was don’t brilliantly. They left out the actual assassination (great call), and instead decided to white out on Jackie O’s final reaction to the death of her husband. As a pose to focusing on the literal death, it focused more on a metaphorical death- “the death of innocence”, a theme Lana Del Rey really wanted to portray in the video, as told in an interview with MTV.
All in all, I advise all of you to see this video. Please feel free to leave comments on what you took away from the music video as well.