Lana Del Rey has always been something of an anomaly. Del Rey’s recently released trippy and provocative short film did not disappoint.
“Tropico,” a twenty-seven minute short film stars Del Rey and costar, Shaun Ross, playing Bible characters Adam and Eve in a “Tale of Redemption.”
Scene one in this three-part act is set in the Garden of Eden, where Del Rey and Ross dance seductively to “Body Electric.” There are flashes to John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley impersonators. Oh, and a unicorn. When Del Rey is tempted by the snake, she eats the apple and immediately is banished from the garden. Ross finds her and eats the apple as well. Oh, tragic love- a little too ‘cliche’-Romeo-and-Juliet’ if I do say so myself.
It’s a very sexual scene, as is the whole film, but from Del Rey, would you expect any less?
“I was a little turned off by the her sexuality with Adam. She’s beautiful and he’s so unattractive!”, said Washington State University student, Simone Machmiller, 20.
In the following scene, featuring “Gods & Monsters,” the two are banished to the Garden of Evil, a convenience store in LA (naturally), where they are seen doing drugs and joining a gang. Meanwhile, there are glimpses of Del Rey and Ross in a raunchy apartment and Del Rey dancing exotically at a strip club. Then Ross’ gang and Del Rey’s friends from the strip club rob a group of businessmen hosting the strippers.
Crazy enough, right? If this whole description sounds confusing, it’s because the film itself is extremely confusing. But stay with me here, as weird as it is, it’s so worth the watch-especially if you are anything of a Lana Del Rey fan!
In the third act, after being baptized Del Rey and Ross drive to a sunny valley where they shed their black clothing and dress in all white (they really committed to that over-the-top element). Del Rey continues to seduce everyone with her beautiful voice saying “Bel Air” until her and Ross are lifted to heaven. And the credits roll.
Vevo’s press release said, “Del Rey’s visual sensibility is rich and fantastical, and the movie’s running themes stay true to the concepts of Born to Die and Born To Die – The Paradise Edition: the loss of innocence, good vs. evil, and trading beauty for money.”
As a huge Lana fan myself, I thought the film overall was really artistic as well as entertaining. I would just love to spend a day with Del Rey to understand how she thinks of these things! Del Rey stayed true to her self-professed “gangster” persona and sad-romance vibe with this strange film. And fans applaud her for that!
The film, directed by Anthony Mandler, was premiered on December 5, at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. All of the featured songs are on her “Born To Die- The Paradise Edition” album.
So what did you think? Lovin’ on Lana or TropicNO?