Amazing Spider-Man 2 star Andrew Garfield plays a whole different kind of superhero in Arcade Fire’s inspirational (and psychedelic) video for “We Exist.” Dressing in a woman’s wig and short jean shorts, Garfield’s character heads down to a local bar, where he defends himself against a hoard of violent drunks – and embraces his destiny.
The clip starts off melancholy, with Garfield crying as he shaves his head and gets dressed. As the sun rises, he strolls down to the bar, where men leer aggressively at him and ask him to dance. After being escorted to the dance floor, he’s groped, knocked to the ground and kicked in the chest. But then a gang of dancing men appear in a trippy pseudo-hallucination, empowering Garfield’s character to strike some Flashdance moves and walk through a tunnel into the crowd at an Arcade Fire show. He then jumps onstage and strikes a number of badass poses as the band knocks out the Reflektor anthem in person.
Overall, the video’s message of self-empowerment and equality is a perfect match for Win Butler’s lyrics and the track’s throbbing synth-rock arrangement. In a press release, Butler describes the track as “about a gay kid talking to his dad” and coming out to his straight father, and he’s introduced the song onstage (including at the band’s Coachella set last month, during which the video’s live footage was shot) by saying, “The right to marry anyone you want is a human rights issue.”