On Wednesday evening, Madonna finally debuted her much-hyped "Secret Project." Many thought it was just an overhyped pet project that Madonna did just to keep busy between albums. We are happy to report they are wrong. Even though "Secret Project" becomes self-indulgent at some points, it is ultimately the most moving thing the pop star has done in years.
The 17 minute clip starts off very dark, with Madonna in a prison cell surrounded by sound clips of speeches from her recent tour playing. Then, we see Madonna metaphorically shooting a bunch of her dancers in a prison (she later resurrects them at the end of the film).
Some may consider Madonna's gunplay tasteless in this day and age. After all, the navy shooting happened exactly one week ago. But anybody who makes a connection between Madonna's film and the navy yard shooting is clearly stretching; Madonna's violence is very slapstick and there isn't even blood or gore.
The prison metaphor is repeated throughout the film. In one part, Madonna looks like a dominatrix from the Erotica video. There are plenty of shirtless men withering around for all her gay fans to drool over. The kinky stuff fits in with the theme of self expression and it makes the film more compelling to watch. The soft "wind" sound really adds to an eeriness of the film.
The film is visually stunning. Madonna, of course, looks determined and beautiful. Her dancers delightfully twist, turn, and come at you in full force. The part where Madonna "takes away" the violence at the end of the film is visually delightful.
It's a very dark film, but there is a lot of thought that went into it. Sometimes, there is too much thought, as in Madonna's thinking out loud. Her (at times) self-indulgent poetry sometimes takes away from the visual beauty of the film.
Even with it's minor faults, "Secret Project" makes you think. It makes you examine yourself and society. Art only works if it achieves this.