'Love the Way You Lie' Video: Domestic Violence Has Never Looked Like This

Kim Conte

eminem rihannaIf there's one thing we can always count on Eminem for, it's brutal honesty.

As a rapper and musician, he's tremendously skilled. But his enormous success as an artist should equally be attributed to the fact that he's not afraid to pour his heart out in each and every project he undertakes. His video for "Love the Way You Lie" with Rihanna -- starring Megan Fox and Lost's Dominic Monaghan -- is no exception.

To say that the pressure was on Eminem to deliver a solid video for this song is the understatement of the year: "Love the Way You Lie" -- a song about domestic violence -- has been a giant hit, and fans have been salivating for a video that was equally as intense, emotive, disturbing, and powerful. I'll go out on a limb here and say that it achieved all this -- and maybe even more.

The video depicts Monaghan and Fox locked in an abusive relationship that is equal parts raw sexual passion and rageful, alcohol-soaked violence. Over and over again, the couple beat up on each other then make up, before burning their metaphorical house to the ground in the last scene. You want to look away because it's so disconcerting but you can't because it's so sexy -- a vicious cycle to be sure.

Eminem's video is ground-breaking -- but not because of the star-studded cast; the cool flame graphics; or the fact that Fox donated her fee for the video to a shelter for abused women and children. Rather, it's significant because it unabashedly portrays domestic violence in a way that's not often seen in our pop culture landscape.

Typically, we see domestic violence as a one-way street: one partner (often a male) abuses the other (often a female). Here, however, the violence is mutual: Fox and Monaghan are both abuser and victim -- a troubling realization that may perhaps challenge our perceptions and understanding of DV and leave us wholly unsettled.

And then there's our knowledge of both Eminem's and Rihanna's all-too public experience with DV (with Kim Mathers and Chris Brown respectively), their emotional performance adding a whole other level of meaning to the video. All in all, it's a powerful, honest statement that commands our attention and one that I think definitely stands up to the song.

See for yourself:

What's your reaction to Eminem's video?

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