Rihanna Wears Herself as a Dress in Muted ‘What Now’ Video
Drab-colored visuals put spotlight on 'Unapologetic' power ballad
Here’s the thing about inner turmoil: It’s on the inside. The video for Rihanna’s internally tortured Beyoncé-ballad bid “What Now,” from last year’s Unapologetic, gamely manages this visually awkward fact. Directed by Jeff Nicholas, Darren Craig, and Jonathan Craven (Wes Craven’s son, in fact), the clip shows little more than the mulleted singer, alone against a stark wall, dramatically performing the song. When the chorus explodes as a bit of loud-soft contrast, we see the singing RiRi superimposed on the slinky dress of another RiRi, this one dancing. Other footage gets mixed in — lighting striking, for instance — but the most intense moment, paradoxically, comes when the Barbadian star spits, “I can’t even get the emotions to come out.” They do. And although the video does little to call attention to itself, that restraint goes a long way in coaxing out the invisible chaos at the heart of the song.