So the much-talked about video of Coldplay’s ‘Hymn for the Weekend’ from their album A Head Full of Dreams is out and it looks more like a Westerner’s stereotype of India than anything else. Oh and Sonam Kapoor, who said it was a ‘huge honour to be part of the video’, is barely there for five seconds. It’s a stretch to even call it a cameo.
She had said: “I love Coldplay’s music and so does the world. It was a huge honour to be a part of the video. It’s a great concept and I had a lot of fun shooting for it.” The actress had earlier said that she had shot for a day at the Golfa Devi Temple in Worli and the Vasai Fort. I guess the director agrees with us about Sonam’s acting skills.
It also looks like Chris thought Beyonce was too visible in the video and got threatened, because we barely hear her, eventhough we are told she lent her vocals to the song. Sonam does appear in the very end and I guess the only reason they didn’t edit her out completely is because her father was part of an Oscar-winning India-themed movie.
The video’s visuals are reminiscent of the West’s myopic view of India where poverty meets mysticism in Bollywood along with a mishmash of colours. Not that we had high hopes of that they would truly capturing the ethos of a different land. One must point out this is hardly as offensive as Taylor Swift’s ‘Wildest Dream’ which was called a ‘colonial fantasy of Africa’ and courted controversy because of its racist overtones.
The video sees Chris do random desi stuff like travelling in a black and yellow taxi (getting overcharged, we assume) and playing instruments, while people around him play Holi. Beyonce is there playing a character called Rani who we assume is a film star (USA Today called her an earth goddess), but actually looks like Xerxes’ long lost sister with all the jewellery on her face reminiscent of Frank Miller’s 300.
The lyrics also aren’t anything to write home about.
All in all, the video seems like it’s part of Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire. We’re sure Chris Martin and Coldplay can do much better.
Watch the video: