Essay on Born to Die

Submitted By cep3
Words: 1347
Pages: 6

“Born to Die” “Feet don’t fail me now, take me to the finish line. Oh my heart it breaks every step that I take cause’ I’m hopin’ that the gates, they’ll tell me that you’re mine.” Lana del Rey opens her ballad with these short sentences, setting the stage for the rest of her story. Viewers and listeners are instantly brought in by this haunting yet charismatic song. While the fan video does not have the same artistic depth as Lana’s version, they are telling the same story. Lana del Rey and the girls from the homemade fan video both portray the elements that narrate the destruction of a youthful love in “Born to Die” with the help of metaphorical visuals, audio and characters. It is a hard task to compare videos to the work of Lana del Rey. She has the artistic ability to turn a poem into a song, a song into a three minute Youtube video, and a Youtube video into an intriguing short movie. In Lana’s video for “Born to Die,” the viewer is given a good amount of information at once. She is not laying it all out there for the viewer but rather giving enough information for an interpretation. The plot of this video is a couple takes a drive through “life” which takes its toll on their relationship and reality is shown in the form of death. Lana del Rey uses metaphorical visuals throughout her video to help piece the story together. The video opens with a scene with Lana and her lover embracing in front of an American flag. Metaphorically, the viewer presented with an “All-American” image of the couple. They are wrapped in each others arms without clothes on. While the male is looking away, Lana is looking directly at the viewer. Coincidentally, thanks to the lyrics there is an undertone that this is not the case. With this scene, the song is still in it’s opening lyrics. Quickly there is a switch to a scene that is very important to the video and the story. Lana is dressed in all white and is sitting on the throne in what seems to be a Catholic church. She is accompanied by two tigers to the left and the right of her who seem to be non threatening. Besides the tigers, Lana is alone in this large open space. This scene is filmed from a long shot and slowly pulls closer to Lana as she directly sings the story to the viewer. This scene of Lana is one that the viewer is brought back to more than once, usually during the chorus of the song. This is where Lana is telling us the story. Considering her white attire we can interpret that Lana is the “good” and her male lover is the “evil” in this story. One can assume that the male character is what brings the trouble into her life. Moving into another scene of the couple where Lana drops her suitcase and runs into the embrace of the male character. She is starting her journey with him and leaving what she knows behind. It seems to be great fun in the beginning of their time together, laughing, getting high, making love and then continuing to drive off together. One can interpret this drive together as a “ride through life.” There seems to be no indication of where they are going and it seems as if they are driving into lost space and metaphorically their relationship is going sour as well. The lyrics, “Sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough I don’t know why.”, are sung. This could be the change of events that could lead to the somewhat inevitable doomed ending. After a minute or so into the fan video we see clips of various concert scenes and home videos of girl 1 and girl 2. At this point it can be interpreted that this fan video is taking the song “Born to Die” away from the a tragic love affair but a destruction of a friendship. The viewer does not know too much about the relationship based solely on these clips but it is easy to imagine the other fun moments they had together. With these scenes we are getting a background of the friendship that we will assume with soon end. One can compare these scenes to the “story” scenes in Lana’s