Analysis Of La Roux Video for "In for the Kill" By Walat Kurdi
Analysis of La Roux Video for “In For the Kill”
La Roux’s video “In for the kill” was released in March 2009 and was the second
track released by the band after “Quicksand” which didn’t really make the big
time as anticipated. La Roux are an Electropop band and not a female solo act
like most people think they are. The band is made from main singer Elly Jackson
and synth writer and co producer Ben Langmaid. However without a doubt Elly
Jackson is the face of La Roux. This video is used as a tool to showcase and
advertise the differentiated and unique sound of the band (artist Elly) and also to
promote the debut album “La Roux”.
This single arguably got La Roux started as an established pop group and was
their first real big hit which was followed by the single “bulletproof” which was an
even bigger success. This video in particular was used to emphasise the
uniqueness of the band and to prove that there are acts out there that look and
sound similar to La Roux.
La Roux have signed to Universal music group, after being linked with Polydor
records. This has vastly improved the development of the band because UMG is
ranked the highest out of the big four record labels in the world and so of course
possesses a very large marketing budget. This has helped La Roux very much
because they weren’t getting the backing from the independent record labels of
From an overall judgement, the music video appears to be set in some sort of
dream or fantasy world of some sort (perhaps “Elly’s world”) with Elly driving on
an endless road in a mysterious black Toyota. This looks as if it is set in the
strange and unpredictable mind of Elly Jackson. To some extent a small piece of
pathetic fallacy is used to try and create a relationship between the mystifying
weather and the eccentricity and quirkiness of the mood of the song.
The mise en scene is also used to cement the quirky feel of the video. For
example the extreme and eccentric hair style and bizarre dress code (shiny black
suit) Elly is portraying, emphasise her originality and her differentiated look from
any other female artist in the industry. The numerous amounts of panning
fragmented close up shots are responsible for this. Also another factor that
proves that she’s not your average female pop artist is her natural physical
appearance. Unlike Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera etc Elly has not been
blessed with stunning good looks and therefore uses her most prized assets
which are her unique sound and look to gain her own popularity. This video helps
to put that point across to the viewers.
Through most of the video half of Elly’s face is lit up by a constant red light and
the other half has different coloured lights constantly flashing on it. The flashing
colours of yellow, blue, white etc suggests she has a lively and unpredictable
personality. However the constant red light on the other side of her face could
mean that she has another side to her and that perhaps everything is not as it
seems with Elly Jackson. The lights are also used for another reason which is to
light up her most distinctive and noticeable feature which is her wacky hair. Her
hairstyle is one of her unique selling points in which the most emphasis is put in
the video. It is what audiences remember her by. Also in addition the lights in and
around the car have been edited to flash in rhythm with the beat.
In one of the long/wide shots featured in the video it reveals a peculiar full moon
covered with cloudy mist. At first sight this doesn’t really have much significance.
However after watching the video several times it had become clear that it was in
fact a blue moon which is linked to the “once in a blue moon” saying which is
mythically related to impossibility and absurdity. This therefore secures the
fantasy style of the video and compliments the overall feel of the video.
Another interesting trait of Elly is portrayed through a combination of camera
panning and car movements. In a lot of the shots Elly is continuously driving
towards and almost into the camera as the camera is also panning closer to the
car. This idea of travelling directly towards the camera is also used in La Roux’s
third single “Bulletproof”. The manner in which Elly is driving towards the screen
signifies her determination as an individualistic minded woman. Elly did go
through a lot of heart ache and trauma of bullying in her early life before she
became a pop singer and now she’s overcome all those difficulties and has
become a star. It is almost as if she is trying to mirror her personal experiences in
her music videos.
The exuberant costumes that Elly wears and the one of a kind hairstyle
combined with her untypical, original sound have helped her become somewhat
of a role model for various female teens. There have for sure been many teens
that have been in Elly’s shoes of being picked on because of physical
appearance. This therefore tells us that the main audience for this track is more
likely to be female teenagers that are beginning to become women and perhaps
are more likely to have an individualistic view on life just like Elly herself.
In conclusion this music video is far from if not the exact opposite of what is
expected from a female mainstream pop video. The use of fragmented close ups
of her most important features like her hair, clothing etc reflect the type of image
that she wants to portray to the audience. The image is that she is an original
artist with her own style and unique sound. Elly Jackson is living proof that you
don’t need to have the best looks and be a great ballad singer to make it as a
female pop star in the music industry.