Lana Del Rey’s “National Anthem” Video: Review Revue

By: Robbie Daw / June 28, 2012

Give Lana Del Rey credit for knowing how to keep us all wagging our tongues over her. The singer teamed up with A$AP Rocky to portray Jackie Kennedy and President John F. Kennedy, respectively, in the Born To Die diva’s video for “National Anthem”. Controversy? What controversy? Right. Naturally the seven-minute-and-40-second epic has critics eager to dissect the clip: some are in awe; some are annoyed; some are just downright scratching their heads in confusion. See how the Internet at large reacted to Del Rey’s latest visual below, then let us know your own thoughts on the “National Anthem” vid.

:: The Hollywood Reporter figures “National Anthem” will keep people guessing: “Del Rey has a penchant for tempting and confounding the American public, starting with her meteoric rise out of Brooklyn to her panned Saturday Night Live performance and on through her choke-happy ‘Blue Jeans’ single art, to name but a few. Still a mysterious figure, this video should only enhance her intrigue, so tender is the national reflex when it comes to its revered figures from the past.”

:: Entertainment Weekly quips, “It’s like a Brooks Brothers catalog, if Brooks Brothers catalogs included dreadlocked rappers from Harlem and blog-baiting reenactments of presidential assassinations.”

:: SugarScape ignores the JFK theme and focuses more on what’s going on, um, behind the scenes: “We are usually fairly confused by Lana’s wacky videos but luckily this one speaks in a language we understand: bum gropes. If you don’t believe us, join with us to observe the fondle-fest.”

:: SPIN offers this assessment: “Though deftly assembled by director Anthony Mandler, the emotional tenor of this clip is unavoidably cartoonish by comparison, bringing to mind the fact it was that old, unglamorous bastard LBJ — the cranky Texan responsible for so many deaths in the Vietnam War — who fulfilled Kennedy’s legacy by passing the Civil Rights Act, Medicare, and the rest of his Great Society program. Money is money is money is money.”

:: Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times feels the video falls short of living up to its very own implications: “Give Lana Del Rey this much credit: She knows how to get press. Yet her latest ploy — playing the roles of Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy in the video for her song ‘National Anthem’ — is curiously naive… Though there are lovingly framed shots of A$AP Rocky and Del Rey as our nation’s first interracial couple in the White House, there’s no attempt to show us the actual true-to-life ramifications of such roles in the view of some of the American public, especially with A$AP Rocky playing the part of a beloved political figure during the civil rights era.”

:: Ology doesn’t seem to be a fan of the clip: “All the same hip-hop meets old Hollywood meets male dependence ideas are here, but it’s married with a narrative through-line that approaches well-worn American iconography with a new and mostly interesting take on post-war decadence. That’s the fancy way of saying, ‘They needed a video for ‘National Anthem’ and JFK is the first thing that popped into their heads.'”

:: According to MTV Buzzworthy, “The whole thing is bizarre, heavily dramatic and tragically beautiful. So basically, the video is Lana Del Rey with A$AP added in for extra gangster Nancy Sinatra sex appeal.”

:: Finally, NBC sums it all up with this: “At the risk of hyperbole, Lana Del Rey’s music video for her new single ‘National Anthem’ offers conclusive proof that everything is weird and nothing will be normal ever again.”

What are your own thoughts on Lana’s new video? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!