Chromatica has whisked us away to a new location, returning to the desert in Lady Gaga’s personal journey through mental health in new single “911.” Being the third official track released off her freshest album, Chromatica, the pop icon took to Instagram to dive further into the song’s importance, “This short film is very personal to me, my experience with mental health and the way reality and dreams can interconnect to form heroes within us and all around us.”
The music video wades in and out of surrealist symbolism, reflecting symmetry to the cinematic masterpiece, The Colors of Pomegranates. Set in the White Sands National Park of New Mexico, Gaga wakes up and is immediately drawn to an adobe house where she meets an eccentric crew of characters who fly balloons, bang their heads against pillows, lipsync, and drift her further into this surrealistic dream. Not unlike the star, the video is a luscious set-up with details ranging from whimsical costume changes to slow-motion voguing.
Yet, this playful energy soon takes a sharp turn when Gaga is dropped from a balloon and strapped to a board where she’s transported to be murdered. Falling further and further into a fervent nightmare, she is thrust into a car crash scene that is so immobilizing, even you’ll need to call “911” to get checked. As she is getting shocked back to life, the real Gaga suddenly jolts awake and begins hyperventilating where the camera pans her environment— the eccentric crew, the New Mexico poster, a painting of a car crash, and even that suspect bracelet wrapped around her leg. It hits the audience like a ton of bricks to realize what all these clues that scatter around her mean. It’s a depiction of her racing mind. And as the ending takes a twist, we hear Gaga cry out, “I don’t wanna die” as the interlude “Chromatica III” that’s played right before her Elton John collab plays softly in the background, possibly throwing us a bone about a potential visual experience with the Rocketman himself.
When one watches the music video for Lady Gaga’s personal journey through mental health in new single “911,” it’s difficult not to have your own visceral reaction. It brings your own battles to the surface, and it’s as uncomfortable as it is cathartic. By the video’s end, you’ll be just as exhausted as she is but at least you’ll know you’re not alone.
Featured Image: YouTube (Lady Gaga)/Interscope Records