Sia has released another visual from her album, 1000 Forms of Fear (click HERE to read album review), to the track ‘Elastic Heart.’ Before watching I was interested to see if the video would take the same interpretive dance route that ‘Chandelier’ took and I was right. As Sia is not in the video herself, she uses her videos to bring the songs to life. The track on the album did feature The Weeknd, but for the video it’s Sia singing alone.
The video began with a cage which reminded me of a wrestling match. Inside there were the two stars of the video, Shia LaBeouf and the same star of ‘Chandelier’ (click HERE for that review), Maddie Ziegler. The two are in nude attire which would cause for skepticism from certain viewers as Shia is 28 and Maddie is 12. Looking past that and sticking to the video there is a lot of thought behind it.
The cage itself becomes symbolic in the end of the video. It is seen as a bubble that a father and daughter are caught in when the relationship between the two is diabolical. It’s unhealthy and the little girl frights and fights as he tries to get closer and soothe her. As he gets closer she gets animalistic and tries to bite him. When reading more about Sia she discussed that she believed her father had Multiple Personality Disorder. That animalistic behavior was a result of that and her father continuously tried to calm her as she continued to fight him.
Mid video the tables turn and he tries to escape only she lays and calms. He thinks its safe enough to approach her yet she snaps yet again. She calms once more and eventually escapes the cage. Her father looks around to find himself alone and then she slips back in to try and save him. He had tried to get out once before, as mentioned, but he stayed for her. As she comes in and sits on his back that’s symbolic of her being the constant weight on his shoulders, but once she realized that she tries to get him out. She has found a way to get herself out, now she wants to help in.
Once she climbs down she takes his hand to walk out the cage, but and tries to pull him out, but he’s stuck. Looking past Shia might not being able to get through the bars it’s symbolic in her winning the battle and him being stuck within. The end of the video and the silence of her screams as she tries to pull him out and watching him limply stare into space was heart wrenching. He realized it was too late and her face knew it was too, but as she still wanted to try he knew his fate.
The video makes it seem as she’s the one that’s crazy, but it’s really her defense mechanism to him. She has to act a certain way to deal with all that he comes with.
Lyrically and musically the song is amazing. The lyrics explain why she cannot be broken down and how her heart is pretty much indestructible. Sia has a powerful voice, but as she murmurs in certain spots and keeps her voice low it puts emphasis on not only the words, but the overall emotion as well.
This video goes beyond the displays of a father/daughter relationship. It’s a symbol of any dysfunctional relationship where two people feel trapped and as one tries to help and the other continuously fights. The great thing about a video such as this is that it gives the viewer a chance to not only enter the world of the artist, but enter another world of their own. One viewer may take away something that another viewer may not. It’s all about perspective and videos that give that are pure art and is a job well done by the artist. Another visual slam dunk for Sia. As visual albums seem to be some type of a trend, this album could really be turned into a motion picture. Visually it would be absolutely amazing.
Despite what critics have said such as the video displaying pedophilia, the video is absolutely beautiful to me as I see the symbolism. Sia has countered those claims by explaining that Shia and Maddie are the only two she felt could execute her vision. Sia has already performed this song on Late Night With Seth Meyers back in June of last year and she will be performing the song again on January 17th on Saturday Night Live with Maddie taking the lead.
Check out the video below and feel free to leave your thoughts.