Camila Cabello’s new “Havana” music video packs a whole lot of drama in just under the seven-minute mark. If you’re interested in the usual Top 40 track showcasing barely clothed dancers gyrating atop luxury cars while the lead-billed artist counts their cash and diamonds, look elsewhere.
The music video is truly a story within a song, unpacked by director Dave Meyers who has worked with top names in the industry like Missy Elliott, Kendrick Lamar, and Ariana Grande. At the start of the clip, viewers are transported into the infamously low-budget-looking sets of Latin television’s notorious Telenovelas, hyper-dramatic Spanish language soap operas. In just under a minute, Cabello catches her lover in bed with her best friend and the maid, only to realize at the last moment that he’s actually the twin brother of her closeted (literally, he was hiding in the closet) lover.
In a clever flash of cinematography, the camera pans to Cabello who is sitting comfortably on a couch watching the Telenovela, content with the low-key night in. Latin celebs Lele Pons and LeJuan James make up Cabello’s fast-talking family, arguing over the former 5h-er’s tendency to miss out on the vibrant night life all around her. LeJuan James, acting as Cabello’s abuelita tells the singer that “life isn’t going to come knocking on [her] door” and that she can’t shut the real world away behind a television screen.
After abuelita falls asleep, Cabello heads to the cinema to watch a version of herself star in #HavanaTheMovie, with the opening scene set in a dimly-lit club filled with dancers slinking to the beat of Young Thug’s featured verse. When on-screen Cabello splits with her smokin’-hot lover at the end of the song/film, popcorn-eating IRL Cabello screams out at the screen in protest. Firmly shattering the fourth wall, movie star Cabello then tells her alter ego, “If you don’t like my story, go write your own!”
Stepping out of the theatre with a pep in her step that wasn’t there before, Cabello can’t help but shimmy to the sexy piano melody of “Havana” while humming the tune.
Taking the advice of the on-screen version of herself, Cabello then accepts the attention of a sexy bystander who was drawn to the sway of the singer’s hips.
Taking the No. 3 trending spot on YouTube and racking up nearly 2 million views on the day of its debut, Cabello is certainly writing a story to be proud of.
Watch the hilariously tongue-in-cheek and equally seductive #HavanaTheMovie below.