Beyonce and Lady Gaga created a masterpiece when they debuted their music video for the iconic song Telephone. Here is why it is one of the greatest visual and musical statements since the birth of MTV and is still incredible 13 years later!
Not since Michael Jackson and “Thriller” has there been a music video that would be more aptly titled a “music movie.” The nine-minute-plus video (made for a sub-four-minute song) is awash in nods to pop culture, feminist messages, and, of course, an iconic hit single.
To put the video’s plot in a nutshell in case you haven’t seen it, Gaga is imprisoned before being bailed out of jail by featured artist Beyonce. Why is she in jail? In the music video for “Paparazzi,” Gaga is seen poisoning and killing her monstrous boyfriend. “Telephone” is a sequel of sorts – and the pair of videos together make for an even grander statement.
One of the standout aspects of the video is a pickup truck with its nickname, “Pussy Wagon,” emblazoned on the back. It’s something from the Quentin Tarantino movie Kill Bill, and he approved its use in the music video. In the movie, the protagonist (Una Thurman) reclaims the truck as a badass feminist set of wheels from a gross hospital employee. Likewise, here – it’s a disgusting name, but elevates Gaga and her escape from the “Prison for Bitches.” Bey is nicknamed “Honey Bee” – another Tarantino callback to Pulp Fiction and the gun-toting Honey Bunny.
Most of all, the video is chock-full of feminist ideas, and challenges dated ways of gendered thinking. This is most obvious in the video’s midsection, which takes place in a classically designed kitchen, and is titled “Let’s Make a Sandwich.” Don’t be fooled, though – Gaga is seen efficiently laying waste to the patrons, including the similarly scummy boyfriend of Beyonce’s character. Far from being mindless violence, this sequence is like the use of the Pussy Wagon – it takes something misogynistic and flips it on its head to make an all-caps bold-and-underlined feminist declaration.
The music video ends on a classic “To Be Continued…” screen. It brings home the notion that this is a piece of art cinematic in scope
— allure (@allurequinn) June 10, 2023
Even if many fans wish there was a sequel to this masterpiece, we’re lucky to have had this visual feast that elevated a pop classic to blockbuster heights.