“You know, since I was a child I have always thought planes are like birds that carry other birds in their wombs.” This is the opening line in Luis Miguel’s classic 80’s video “La Incondicional.” Does the translation make any sense in English? Not really. Does this even make any sense in Spanish? No, it doesn’t neither. But, back in the day, it seemed like the most profound and romantic thing to say, as you bid farewell to your loved one right before joining the military.
The video includes sequences where Luis Miguel is working hard to become the best at the Mexican Air Force, while struggling with the ups and downs of love. Does this ring a bell with another 80’s classic? If it does, it’s because Luis Miguel’s “La Incondicional” is not-so-loosely based on Hollywood’s 1986 cult movie Top Gun.
In the 80’s, Puerto Rican-born, Mexican singer Luis Miguel was to Mexico what Michael Jackson was to America: a pop music superstar. In one of the most memorable Spanish-language music videos of all time, Luis Miguel found his concept in Top Gun, a movie that follows a rebel pilot who gets the chance to become part of America’s Top Gun, and, most importantly, to fall in love (with his teacher).
Tom Cruise plays the young Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, and the movie’s main plot is the struggles of love, while handling the competition that comes with masculinity, the defense of honor, and the importance of camaraderie because, of course, that’s all you have to learn while in the military.
So, Luis Miguel found in Tony Scott’s film the inspiration for what could be one of the most expensive and iconic videos of his career. Now, in comparison to “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin, and Top Gun itself, “La incondicional” is a song about a man who realizes, after he has joined the Air Force, that the woman who loved him unconditionally was in fact, well, in love. Luismi, as us Mexicans call him, has worked so hard to become a pilot that by the end of school he deserves to have some fun at a ball where he runs into his beloved just to realize that… for some reason, they don’t know each other anymore. Yeah, six minutes into the video just to realize there’s a plot hole in it because no one really gets why they share an uncomfortable encounter. We see her writing a letter, but we never see him reading it in the video until after their awkward meeting.
But, plot holes and nonsensical cheesy phrases aside, Luis Miguel’s “La Incondicional” is a real 80’s gem in Latin American music because somehow it successfully adapted one of Hollywood’s most famous films into one of Mexico’s greatest music videos. Don’t believe me? Then, see for yourself.
The Politics Of “Mr. Iglesias”, A High School Sitcom For Gen Zers
A Tale Of Two Kitchens: The Documentary On The Love/Hate Mexico-US Relationship
How Quinceañeras Could Be Revolutionizing Latino Voter Turnout