In a clip that draws references from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Tarzan," Katy Perry assumes the role of jungle queen and tames the savage beasts of the forest in the video for her new single "Roar."
More cinematic than her earlier videos but just as entertaining, "Roar" starts with a comic book image of a plane crash in the jungle, followed by the full-screen title "A Motion Theory Adventure Filmed in Junglescope." Before anyone has time to wonder what "a motion theory adventure" is, the action (and song) begins.
At first, Perry plays second fiddle to a male crash survivor, who starts the story by taking pictures of himself with a cell phone before callously handing Perry a bag to carry while he walks through the jungle unencumbered. As the couple strolls through the palm trees, the lout empties a can of bug spray then tosses it over his shoulder.
The accompanying lyrics fit the mood of the scene: "I guess that I forgot I had a voice/ I let you push me past the breaking point/ I stood for nothing so I fell for everything."
Before the audience can develop a real hatred for the guy, a tiger leaps across the screen and takes him out. The music stops. Perry screams and runs back through the woods while the camera takes on the perspective of a tiger in pursuit. The heroine escapes into a clearing and reaches into a lake for a drink only to be snapped at by a crocodile. She pulls back just in time to avoid being lunch only to find tarantulas crawling down her blouse.
Then, just when it seems she is destined to perish in the wilderness, Perry begins her bold transformation. Lights in the forest flicker around her like sparks from a blazing fire, and as she gazes into the water she sees the reflection of a tiger staring back at her. "I am the champion and you're gonna hear me roar," she sings as the sparks from the flame form a tiger's head above her.
From here on in, Katy's in control. She yanks the heel from her shoe to make a spear, which she uses to skewer a banana, takes a shower from an elephant's spraying trunk and climbs on the back of the crocodile to brush its teeth. She swings from vines, polishes the elephant's toenails with pomegranate juice and tames a ferocious tiger with her fearsome roar. In the end, the feline is left domesticated and wearing a "Kitty Purry" necklace.
When asked what her favorite animal to work with was, Perry Tweeted, "Suzy, the elephant cause she wouldn't stop eating everything!"
There’s a clear message in the "Roar" video that will likely translate to other material on Perry’s third major label album, Prism, which comes out October 22. Perry’s got a new sense of confidence and swagger and she’s not going to play the victim anymore. At the same time, she’s still got a quirky sense of humor and is bound to make a few self-deprecating gestures as she guides her own path to superstardom. All anyone can do is sit back and hear her roar.