A peacock flares its wings inside the Bassein Fort in India. A man with a white beard, wearing an orange robe with a long train begins the parade procession. On a building, Beyoncé is featured on a billboard as an Indian Princess, promoting a product. Chris Martin views the billboard from his cab. Meanwhile, Beyonce walks around the Bassein Fort.
Three men on a bicycle fly by on the street. Another man is suspended in air, praying. On top of a building, Martin mouths lyrics by a colorful building. On street, Holi, the Festival of Colors, is underway. Children run by, their faces and hair covered in purple, throw powder in the air.
A little girl views through Beyoncé performing in a small television.
While Coldplay perform, covered in many colors, children around them dance. That night, a man breathes fire. The people throw dry powder at the band. Children jump into a river.
At the Martha Mandir Theatre, a man adjusts the fan. Martin leaves the cab and enters inside to watch Beyoncé, the Indian Princess, in her latest movie, as the poster in the hallway advertises. The man looks through his window to make sure the movie is framed properly on the screen.
Around sunset, boats sail across the river to watch the fireworks, while Coldplay perform. Beyoncé, on the television screen, bends her head over in prayer.
India isn’t merely used a backdrop. Showing Holi, which is something that can be seen in travel shows, is significant and for Indians, it’s an important festival. There is some appreciation for the culture and at least provokes the audience to wonder: “what are they celebrating?”
Beyoncé, though, as an Indian Princess, is cultural appropriation. It’s an insult to the Indian actress Sonam Kapoor, who could’ve easily played the role instead of being reduced to a cameo. She could’ve been featured in another way. She could’ve been experiencing the Holi festival, perhaps being in the after-party aspect of it. It was a tone deaf decision and an unfortunate one puts a damper on the video.
Director: Ben Mor Year: 2016