How do you follow a music video phenomenon? If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Australian pop singer-songwriter-conceptualist Sia has brought back Maddie Ziegler, the young actress-dancer-alter-ego from her wildly popular "Chandelier" video, which has now logged more than 430-million views. Ziegler is outfitted in the same—or at least similar—blond wig and tan leotard for her new video "Elastic Heart," and this time Sia, who directed the video with Daniel Askill, pits Ziegler against actor Shia LaBeouf in a Mad Max-inspired cage-wrestling tournament.
If that sounds like a gross mismatch, fear not: Ziegler largely dusts the floor with LaBeouf, at least in the early going of their modern-dance rooted pas de deux.
Yet as things progress in Sia's lyric about her resolve to survive in the face of a failed love, Ziegler and LaBeouf forge a new, more empathetic relationship, one that thankfully avoids an implication of romance.
It turns playful for a while, LaBeouf making goofy faces at Ziegler, before she demonstrates the ease with which she can exit the cage, while LaBeouf remains imprisoned.
Viewers are quickly posting their interpretations of the piece, which may represent the struggle between parent and child, or Ziegler playing the role of Sia's inner child. Viewers' theories as varied as those that attempted to explain what went on in "Chandelier."
"I love how this isn't what you usually see in music videos," Elenora Koch wrote in YouTube's comments section. "Its unique, its art, it tells a story. It makes you think. And i think its beautiful."