Friday, June 22, 2012
Wide Awake by Katy Perry: Review
At first glimpse Perry’s latest video seems like a random collage of fantastical nonsense doesn’t it? Well, if that were truly the case I wouldn’t be writing now would I. This review is yet another one of my rescue articles (the premiere one being for Beyonce’s confusing the ‘Best Thing I Never Had’). It simply tells you the answer to that horrid brain itching question: “what does this even mean?” Don’t you just wish that all of life’s answers were this easy to find sometimes. Ah…so let’s start.
In actuality the video of “Wide Awake” is an intricately spun web of creativity which posits a complexly woven net of symbolic meaning. Wait what!? I mean...the song is doing a lot of interesting things all at once.
• Paying homage to her past successes within "Teenage Dream”
• Creating successful autobiographical allusions to her own, very public, life experiences within the two-year time frame
• Teaching a lesson or conveying a valuable human experience to her fans and listeners
• Drawing itself up as the finale of a long saga
• The promotion her new upcoming movie: ‘Katy Perry: Part of Me’
• And staying true to a good pop song with easy simple lyrics and an infectious chorus
“Wide Awake” opens with the filming of the ending scene of “California Gurls” which is symbolic of the beginning of “Teenage Dream” (since it was the first single). Perry then goes to her dressing room and removes her wig and this becomes her awakening. We shift into a labyrinth and Perry starts to lead us through. If you notice, you’ll see a caterpillar and a dried up wreath in the shape of a heart on the top of the stone wall. Very minute details but remember that every detail exists for a reason. The caterpillar is a motif for the ugly beginning because the rest of the video is all about transformed butterflies, while the dried up heart wreath is a symbol for unnourished love. Why the hell a labyrinth you may ask? Well, Perry wants this song to be complex and not much is more complex than getting yourself out of a labyrinth, right? Don’t believe me, go ask Theseus of Athens. Specifically, the use of the labyrinth is a device to visually depict the complexities and challenges Perry has had to undergo in her life, and each stage of the labyrinth showcases a different experience.