Taylor Swift channels her past relationship heartbreak into new short film
On Nov. 12, 2021, Taylor Swift’s first 15-minute short film was released. As many of Swift’s fans (or ‘Swifties’) will know, Swift has teased for a long time that there was a 10-minute version of her hit song “All Too Well” which was never released.
Now, that song can be found on every streaming platform — as well as Swift’s new short film under the same name. The short film stars Sadie Sink as ‘Her,’ Dylan O’Brien as ‘Him’ and Swift as ‘Her, later on.’
The film has a distinctly nostalgic feeling, as the audience follows the turbulent romance between a young woman and a man who is distinctly older than her.
The film is split up into different ‘chapters’ — an upstate escape, the first crack in the glass, the breaking point, the reeling, the remembering and thirteen years gone. Through each chapter, the audience watches the slow but inevitable breakdown of a relationship that was never meant to last.
The early chapters are filled with golden light — highlighting the happy moments in the relationship. However, many of these also feature beams of darkness — the disintegration of this passionate affair. Shot on 35mm, the film has a lot of vintage flair that fits with the song.
“All Too Well” plays throughout the entire film, save for a segment where Her and Him have a fight after his friends have left their home.
This is brutal to watch, both Sink and O’Brien delivering incredibly believable performances. Swift herself has said that much of this scene was improvised and this has resulted in a segment that feels very realistic. Had there not been any improvisation, this scene would not have had the same effect — this is the way that real love is. Messy and unpredictable.
The end of the film sees Swift as Her, 13 years later. Now an accomplished author (having published a book under the same name as the song), Her has found new direction in her life. As we see Him outside of the bookstore where Her is giving a reading of her novel, we can assume that he has not moved on with his life and accomplished what she has. She has found new love in her writing while he has stayed the same.
Those who know anything about Swift’s dating history will know that the inspiration for her album RED — and this song — came from her time dating actor Jake Gyllenhaall. The film is rife with references to their former relationship, the age gap between Sink and O’Brien even being similar to the one between Swift and Gyllenhaal.
Many of Swift’s fans across social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram have been calling out the actor in recent days, now that his former relationship with Swift has been brought into the public consciousness once more. Swift has finally told a version of their former love story and fans have responded positively — the video having already amassed over 1.7 million likes on YouTube.
You can watch All Too Well: The Short Film on Youtube. You can also listen to both versions of the song as well as Red (Taylor’s Version) on every popular streaming platform and YouTube.