By Courtney E. Smith
Bullies, mean girls and the horrors of adolescence: these are the subjects of “Heroes,” the first short film created for Pepsi’s Beats of the Beautiful Game album.
It’s a collection of music somehow related to football — European football, that is — although this particular rendering for Janelle Monáe’s excellent cover of the Davie Bowie classic doesn’t directly deal with the sport, but a soccer ball does make an appearance.
The video, directed by the Young Astronauts (who are thus far most known for their work on a few Cody Simpson and Ariana Grande videos), is steeped in the color and styling of a Wes Anderson movie, to a point. It’s more of a nod than a full on copy, but that otherworldliness and washed-out color sets the story not quite in the present. That is basically the only thing keeping this from being a PSA.
There are also overt nods to the old ABC Afterschool Specials that are rather trite, but things get interesting when Janelle Monáe shows up as a comic book hero to inspire them all. It’s a novel approach to inserting a start who is unavailable for the video shoot.
In the end, the nerds have their revenge and the underdog takes an effective and colorful stand. Anderson’s influence rears its head again in their homemade superhero costumes and, well, pluck.