In her dazzling new video for “Chained to the Rhythm,” Katy Perry recreates the precise moment when she finally awoke to the sobering reality behind the illusion of the American dream.
The video takes place in a retro-futuristic theme park called Oblivia, in which patrons can enjoy such scintillating attractions as “The Great American Dream Drop” and a roller coaster called “Love Me.” Katy strolls through the premises having a great time until she starts to realize that people are actually waiting hours on end to get flung through the air in the name of fun. Some of them even run on human-sized hamster wheels for no discernible reason.
The real turning point, however, comes when Skip Marley emerges from a giant television set Samara-style to serenade Katy about the truths of capitalistic inequality. The go-go boots and holographic raincoats in Oblivia might be on point, but labor exploitation is never en vogue. Katy gazes horrified into the camera, her whole world turned upside down.