Video Review: Lady Gaga “Perfect Illusion”

At an outdoor stadium, people jump up and down. Lady Gaga twirls the microphone cord like a baton, wearing a casual black t-shirt and denim cutoffs. With crazy eyes, she points to no one in particular.

In the car, she’s wearing sunglasses and listening to the radio, hitting the steering wheel to the music. She takes a hard left and stops. She begins to walk in the desert, kicking up sand.

At the rehearsal, she performs in a faded gray crop top and silver shorts. She puts her hands over eyes and kicks the air as the cameras flash.

Then, she sings into the crowd, with her band joining her. She has also added a black jacket to her outfit. She puts her head on her guitarist’s shoulder as she sings. People dance, glancing at her every so often as she moves through the crowd, running her hand through her hair as the lights turn on and off.

The band members start to head bang as they play. She knocks into her drummer, who seems to be annoyed but used to it. While she jumps up and down in the corner, a blurred nip slip occurs. She grabs hold of a guitar and places it in front of her, playing it. She puts her head into somebody’s hair.

Backstage, she twirls the microphone cord again. During her show, she moshes into the crowd, her fans keeping her up high and being careful not to drop her.

Inside the crowd, she rolls her eyes back that her pupils become pencil thin slits and the only whites can be seen. She puts her drummer into a headlock.

Backstage, she rolls on the sand a few times.


Rating: 3.5/5

Casual suits Gaga well. The denim cutoffs and black t-shirt is the most shocking thing she’s worn. It’s an actual transformation that is personal, easy to connect to and humanizes her in a way that has eluded her outside of her hardcore fanbase. For once, she can be seen as a person and not as a caricature of the runway.

Backstage and during the concert, she’s in rocker chic with the smoky eyeliner. The out fit may be simple – silver shorts, faded crop top and black jacket – but it’s coordinated to the nightfall. The silver shorts contrast with stadium lighting, matching the low-key setting. Her ravenous, primal movements as she stumbles and tries to collect herself through the crowd have a delirium to them that hasn’t been seen before.

The desert itself is the weakest part of the video. Gaga slaps her thighs and jumps too much, disturbing the calm that does set in after the drive. It starts to fall into place once she performs backstage. Then, the video awakens with unstoppable energy and a sense of cool.

Directors: Ruth Hogben & Andrea Gelardin  Year: 2016

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