Perhaps the greatest thing since kettle cooked potato chips, Sia’s video “Elastic Heart” is an instant classic steeped in interpretive dance and full use of miming, set to a song that is both hypnotizing and exotic in its looped beat of a schizophrenic like a chant.
It starts off with a traditional showdown reminiscent of a Western. Our hero is a 14-year-old girl squaring off against a very chiseled and buff Shia LaBeouf. Questions arise early. Why are these two birds trapped in a cage? Why are they so dirty and stripped down to nothing but underwear? Why are they fighting?
Using the song’s lyrics as a guide, we can interpret the cage as representative of the restrictions placed on one’s heart. These two lovers are at quarrel over dominance. The beef seems to be menacing, looking to control the girl who is equally intimidating in her exaggerated facial expressions. Is she the antagonist, egging him on, or merely showboating for survival?
The dance begins like a duel, both partners circling each other as a means of measuring each the competition up. Interesting to note is the animal like gestures the girl makes, almost as if demonically possessed. Her taunts seem to spur on LaBeouf’s own aggression, as he retaliates with his own demonic facial expressions. They hiss and they express and the dance evolves into a display of machismo.
Of course, this is all a precept for a conceptual video that begs for something more than just a mere review. There’s hints of mythology, perhaps a Greek or Roman legend as the little girl metaphorically knocks the demon out of our aggressor.
I should add that the little girl in the video is in her own little way beautiful as if a virginal spirit that is too young for domination by such a dominant partner.
Is this erotic? Or is this simply a symbolic display of aggression represented through what on the surface should be a harmless little girl? And what exactly are the aggressor’s intentions?
The creators seem to push the boundaries and limits of a heavily Puritan-influenced American audience, but I note Sia Furler is from Australia, which means she’s probably more open-minded than my zealous patriots.
With that out of the way, the only true response is to say: “Who cares?”
If the video comes off as a gross example of pedophilia, click the red “x” that allows you to escape the torment of artistic expression.