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Illustration by Madison Cohen

It is Nov. 12. at 4:00 p.m. and my alarm goes off. On my computer, I quickly close the window open to my political science InQuizitive chapter and jump onto YouTube. 

Bless the YouTube algorithm which knows me too well because immediately on my recommended home page is the video premiere for Taylor Swift’s “Taylor Swift - All Too Well: The Short Film.”

To give some necessary background information before deep diving into this cinematic masterpiece, this song is rumored to be about Swift’s three-month relationship with actor Jake Gyllenhaal. 

The film follows the story of “Him” and “Her’s” relationship — possibly imitating Swift and Gyllenhaal’s relationship? This is a theory with many sources and fans backing it. 

A two-minute version of the song “All Too Well” was released in 2012 on the “Red”album, but now that Swift has full creative control over her music and is rerecording her albums, she is gifting the world with the full unreleased ten-minute version of “All Too Well.” 

Between Sadie Sink’s red hair, who plays “Her,” Dylan O’Brian’s plaid jacket, who plays “Him,” and all the fall leaves, the first scene of the film had instantaneous fall vibes. 

The scene after the dinner party had me enthralled with this relationship. After learning parts of this scene were ad-libbed I was shocked even more. The tension and talent between Sink and O’Brian are what truly sell the story. I cannot rave enough about how magnetic these actors are.

In the kitchen refrigerator scene when “Him” and “Her” are dancing, the lighting symbolizes their personalities. “Him” is next to the cold blue light of the refrigerator while “Her” is next to the warm golden light of the window — a direct foreshadowing of how this relationship will play out.

The pure chemistry between the two had me voyeuristically captivated by their performance. The one-shot had me feeling as if I was in the same room and had an emotional stake in the relationship. I felt the fury. I felt the love. I felt the heartbreak.

There was a bit of a Twitter fret over the real-life age gap of the actors, but this attention to detail highlighting Swift’s and Gyllenhaal’s real-life age difference is something I appreciate. For too long Swift has taken the brunt of the blame for this relationship along with many other young females in Hollywood. This film has created the space to bring these issues to light and have a conversation about them. 

The details Swift and her team are dedicated to consistently impress me. When the title card appears, the car driving by is a 1989 Mercedes Benz — 1989 is Swift’s birth year. Thirteen seconds into the film the dialogue begins. This number is associated with Swift and her fans for many reasons, but most significantly Swift claims it is her lucky number.   

As a redhead, the film’s ending made my heart beam when Swift appeared as a “Her” later on with dyed red hair. This film serves as a visual representation of the growth Swift has experienced. 

Also, the vulnerability Swift showed while directing her first film is nothing if not admirable. The fans agree, as the film has received over 32 million views on YouTube within the first two days.

I truly cannot wait to see what Taylor does next and where her ingenuity may take her as she gains more confidence in what is stored within her creative arsenal. 

The only thing that could have made this film better is it being a feature-length film. The few minutes we did have were rich and vibrant with the characters having so much life. The greed in me desires more. But until then, I give “All Too Well” a 10/10.

Rating: 10/10

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