Lana Del Rey, Future Bond Villain

by Katherine Cusumano

The moment has finally arrived. A week after the new single "High by the Beach" dropped, slightly ahead of schedule, and less than 24 hours after the video's teaser hit the Internet, the music video for Lana Del Rey's latest track is here at last. In many ways it's classic Lana — sultry, rose-toned, with a found-footage aesthetic that's almost voyeuristic. Appropriately enough, considering the video is a take-down (quite literally) of the paparazzi that follow her every move.

"High on the Beach" starts by zooming in on Del Rey in a seaside bungalow, where she swans around looking wistful, flips through gossip rags, and leaves pots of coffee unfinished. A mysterious helicopter floats outside her windows (there are many of them), and a man snaps photos of Del Rey in her natural habitat. She pauses in front of the window, pondering what to do next, and decides she's had enough. In a flurry, she runs down to the beach where she's conveniently stashed a grenade launcher, takes aim, and fires on the helicopter. Immediate annihilation.

Del Rey uses her song to comment on unsolicited intrusion into the lives of celebrities, as many young women Hollywood has cast in the ingenue role have before her (think Lindsay Lohan's "Rumors" or Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi"). But it also reveals another side — a Lana Del Rey that definitely deserves her own action film. Check out the video below, and see why "High by the Beach" is practically a Bond film in disguise.

EXT: A Lone Villa In A Remote Location

Flashback to Casino Royale, where Daniel Craig's James Bond seduces the wife of one of his nemeses at a beachfront Bahamas home.

And She's Being Watched

Classic action movie shot, where the protagonist realizes he or she is being followed through a reflection.

But In This Movie, Lana Plays All The Parts

Bond girl, villain, hero. She knows how to emote.

She Has A Bit Of An Existential Crisis

Haunted by a dark past, presumably.

There's A Chase Scene

The point-of-view camera shot makes us feel like we're following her, in the eeriest possible way. "High by the Beach" provokes a really visceral feeling that Del Rey is constantly under watch, but it doubles as a chase scene. Del Rey could definitely pull off a getaway in her action flick.

It's Exotic And Mysterious

What's in the guitar case? Why is it on the beach? Will all of my questions even be answered?

Our Protagonist Is Armed, Powerful, And Prepared To Defend Herself

So that's what the guitar case was about. Del Rey would prove a resourceful heroine. (Anti-heroine? She is about to blow someone up, after all. She could definitely play the bad guy.)

She's Not Afraid To Do What's Necessary, And She Has Killer Aim

She points and shoots. The paparazzi likely got a great shot of this before the end.

Firepower Is On Her Side

Seriously. Killer aim.

This Is What An Action Hero Looks Like

This shot would work equally well in slow motion. Del Rey has clear determination, and I admire a woman who so efficiently accomplishes what she sets out to do. Especially when there's such heavy ammunition involved.

But Del Rey's Action Film Doesn't Answer All The Questions

I still don't know why that guitar case was stashed on the beach, and what is this letter that gets washed out to sea? Like any good drama, "High by the Beach" leaves more than a few questions unanswered. Setting up for a sequel, most likely. Maybe even a franchise.

"High by the Beach" is proof-positive that Del Rey should star in her own action movie not the least because the track itself could easily double as the theme song for an espionage film. Between the moody track and the simmering hints at revenge behind the lyrics, Del Rey has set herself up to play lead actress, composer, and filmmaker of the next great action film. She once referred to herself as a "gangsta Nancy Sinatra," and considering the songstress herself recorded "You Only Live Twice," one of the greatest and best known Bond themes, the comparison seems all the more relevant.

Images: LanaDelReyVEVO /YouTube (12)