"...with resemblance of an A24 release"
IF I CAN'T HAVE LOVE, I WANT POWER (2021)
Halsey’s If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is a fifty minute experience that showcases music from her latest album with a semi-followable narrative and intriguing abstract imagery. Originally premiering in IMAX in late August, the film has finally made its way to HBO MAX for fans of Halsey to indulge in.
Fifty minutes may seem incredibly short for a feature film (and undeniably it is), it’s much more of an extended music video showcasing a majority of her latest album of the same name. Set in an age of Kings and Queens, Halsey plays a former Queen stripped of her power after her King is found dead. Deciding to take her newfound freedom as a sign to live her own life without a man enforcing her every move. However this quickly turns sour as she finds that she is child-bearing.
With such a short runtime the film hardly gives time for the audience to understand the story taking place - at times making the story incoherent. The music from Halsey’s album having the appropriate tone as far as score but the lyrics don’t quite match what’s transpiring on screen. Please keep in mind as fans of Halsey may be of all ages – this film is in fact rated R and for a reason; expect domestic violence, sexual assault, cursing and a large amount of nudity in the limited time.
In all honesty, I wasn’t a huge fan of this effort and that saddens me a great deal because of how much I love Halsey’s music. I didn’t mind her acting abilities – she clearly was investing herself into what she was doing but she hardly has any lines and her actions in the film can only be described as odd. Colin Tilley’s If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is a beautifully shot feature with resemblance of what you’d expect from an A24 release – Halsey’s tracks soar above the footage within, making me question if it’s worthwhile to even see the accompanying film when listeners can create their own stories, possibly better, out of the songs depicted on the 2021 album.