Video Review: Calvin Harris & Rihanna “This Is What You Came For”

In the middle of nowhere, a white box is placed in the desert. Approaching the box, lights flash green and purple. The box has transported itself to a forest.

Inside the box, lit crystal white, Rihanna stands near the back and rolls her shoulder and head. Behind her the light changes to a blood-red, then crystal white, an aqua blue, copper, violet and finally granite.

The box, open by a sliver, is blend of white patches and a waterfall blue. Once it’s sliced, people are shown dancing inside a club. Lime green neon lights flash as the crowd parts for Rihanna. She moves forward inside and the club has darkened, with royal purple lights. She steps outside of it, walking into a warehouse. To the left of her is a bench. Royal purple and lime lights flash to her right. The lights then take over on the other side and the bench disappears.

Behind her, the box is decorated with a mid-afternoon sky with clouds, which is highlighted by copper at one point. Rihanna twirls around in a circle as glitter falls. Clubgoers watch her from outside. She claps her hands as the lime green lights flash around her.

She stands inside the box, now a blood-red dandelion on all three sides. She steps inside the box as the royal purple lights flash and a radio wave of colors. Rihanna opens her arms wide as the people outside dance.

The background changes to a mossy green as the box reflects the trees and land from the outside. Leaves fall from the tops of the trees and into the box, which is still in the forest.

It’s now sunset. Under the hushed blue sky, a sportscar speeds around the circle, emanating a violet haze of smoke and sand. Standing inside another layer of the box is Calvin Harris. She meets him there, as the Christmas green lights.

Harris disappears. She is now by the ocean, then the desert as men pass by on camels and then the hot, burning sun. She looks up as the screen changes back to the forest. The people are shown dancing outside and then the blood-red dandelion appears briefly.

Rihanna is outside, as a car drives down the road. Bubblegum pink lasers, highlighted with forest green, race to the center of the square. The sports car is illuminated in light. Rihanna claps her hands in the air in the seaweed green smoky lights. She steps inside again as the box turns a baby blue and then a dangerous red, while flashing lights on the side border it. It then turns bronze.

The box opens wide again as the walls collapse. Rihanna could nearly touch them. The sport car is illuminated to be a pearl white. Lime green lights flash as the a midnight blue background encompasses her.

As the scenery changes back to the forest, the screen cuts out. She raises her arms to the ceiling, against the blue radio raves with silver lightning bolts hitting them. The lights flash various colors as the clouds return for a second and then collapse. While she is inside the box, it becomes a huge tube television with sea green laser lights surrounding it. A checkered pattern of gold and copper, highlighted with some yellow show up behind her.

The scenery flashes to the desert and then back to the forest, as she dances on the floor with strewn leaves. She walks inside the box again and it becomes a tiny white dot.

     Rating: 4/5

It’s a variation of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” and expands on the idea. Whereas, Drake’s video remained static, Calvin Harris’ is ever-changing. Colors not only blend into each other but the scenery is mirrored into the box.

The most impressive of the scenery is the forest. It’s a lush, bright green on the cusp of fall. Also noteworthy are how close the people seem to be outside of it. Rihanna is viewing the party but she’s not actually a part of it. For the partygoers, she is the entertainment.

The colors are sharp and vibrant. It will take a couple viewings and some pausing to really appreciate it. The flashing lights keep the energy moving and the pace fast.

Director: Emil Nava  Year: 2016


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