Lana Del Rey unveiled her Tropico short film, and it’s, um, very Lana! There’s lots of poetry recited over visuals of nihilism and sexuality, because art! Del Rey plays a modern-day Eve, guided by American icons like John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe, and she transports to modern times as a stripper who galavants around with her boyfriend (played by model Shaun Ross).
The whole thing essentially comprises three big-idea, extended music videos butted up against each other: alone, they’re not too conceptual, but presented like this, there’s a Garden of Eden-grime of Earth-golden fields of heaven narrative. Visually, it’s fairly arresting, but beyond that, there’s not much left to chew on. But that’s our take. Head below to see what critics across the Web thought of Lana’s collaboration with director Anthony Mandler.
:: Rolling Stone compared the opening scene to a comedy bit. “John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Jesus and Marilyn Monroe are hanging out in the Garden of Eden with a unicorn. What sounds like the set-up for a long, weird joke is actually the start of Lana Del Rey’s long, weird new short film.”
:: Pitchfork merely offered this adjective in the headline, though it does the trick: “Bonkers.”
:: Stereogum described it as “a glossy but bugged-out extended-length music video, a pretentious but sensationalistic dive into her center-free aesthetic.”
:: New York said the “ambitious” project is “a hazy blend of Spring Breakers and lip-liner,” and “it’s Lana at her most Lana” (emphasis theirs).
:: Billboard called it “daring” (did they see the same film as everyone else?), saying it’s “a work of overflowing, era-traversing passion.”
:: Slant Magazine offered the most thoughtful take of everyone, writing: “It’s obvious from the big bang that opens the film that Del Rey and Mandler have zero interest in subtlety, but interestingly, Del Rey doesn’t position herself among the film’s icons of Americana the way, say, Kanye West or Lady Gaga might. Instead, her work continues to serve as both a tribute to an imagined past and a critique of contemporary pop culture.”
:: Under The Gun felt the voiceovers were “somewhat nonsensical,” but overall argued the film was “something special.”