Rida’s review published on Letterboxd:
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Shitty aesthetics aside, We Were Once a Fairytale is an intriguing short, the sort of thing I'd pay money to watch as a full-length film. It swings from hilarious to depressing to surreal so smoothly that you never quite notice how involved you've become by the time Kanye West rips the painfully cute bat thing from his own stomach.
The film places West firmly in his 808s habitat, replete with indulgence, loneliness, and inebriation. He's in a swanky club filled with beautiful people, and becomes hilariously ecstatic when he recognizes the music playing in the background: "Oh shit! This is my song! I'm in it! I'm in this song!" Everyone smiles at him just the way people smile at obnoxious children, humoring them, wishing they'd shut the hell up.
"Do you guys like this song? It's my song," he yells, and he actually does seem to care about what they think. West begins to unravel, stumbling around and flirting with uninterested women, then jamming enthusiastically to his own song before slumping in a stranger's arms as a woman looks at him with an odd expression of pity and revulsion on her face.
Eventually West stumbles into a bathroom to vomit rose petals before cutting open his own stomach and removing an, uh, extremely realistic rodent-looking thing from inside himself. West proves to be a surprisingly capable actor here, handing the rodent a tiny knife, his face full of warmth, sadness, and empathy.
The rodent isn't his ego; it's too small and pitiful to stand for something as monstrous as that. It's obviously not his creative energy, either. It could be his sadness and struggles with depression, or perhaps a painful vulnerability that needs to be killed before it kills him. Whatever it is, it does seem to set West a little bit free.