Taylor Swift's new album reveals a more authentic view of herself. Photo courtesy Amazon

Taylor Swift: ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’

Taylor Swift practically raised an entire generation of people. Her music has gotten countless people through heartbreaks, seeming-to-be never-ending crushes, and so much more.

Throughout the years, many people did not realize that while recording her albums, she was withholding a lot from her fans. Around November of 2020, Swift was granted permission to rerecord her albums and release them the way she wanted her fans to hear them.

On Nov. 12, she released her version of “Red.” One song that stood out the most to many of her listeners was the song, “All Too Well.” Shepherd sophomore Breigh Glover says, “’All Too Well’ has lyrics that are very relatable and make you feel understood.”

When “Red” was first released in 2012, it was a five-minute song. Five minutes for a song is pretty lengthy. The song, now a full 10 minutes, however, has made fans excited and fulfilled since fans now know how much they missed out on.

For lots of people, the rereleases enable us to relive the same feelings we had when the albums were first launched, and for younger or newer fans, it allows them to experience the same joyous embarkments that earlier fans got to be a part of.

As if the song wasn’t already immersed with enough imagery and detail to visualize, Swift went above and beyond as to write and direct a short film dedicated to that song specifically. The film is free for everyone to watch and even if you aren’t a fan of Taylor’s, it’s important for people to witness how detrimental a first love can be, especially when groomed into it.

Although Swift hasn’t outright said that the film is about her past relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal, it’s safe to presume. Dating with an age gap between a freshly new adult and someone with plentiful experience isn’t what was so impacting, it was how Gyllenhaal took advantage of his age and stance to manipulate young Taylor. 

The actors casted in the short film of “All Too Well” portrayed the stars relationship prolifically. Having Dylan O’Brien to play “him”, and Sadie Sink to play “her” was such brilliant casting because we have all watched Sink grow up on the show “Stranger Things” where she plays and is still a child.

Even though she may be technically an adult now, watching her with O’Brien, who we know to be a full-grown man, feels wrong. What also made this such a realistic and profound duo was their solid chemistry and intense acting.

In an interview with ExtraTV, Taylor was asked what story she was trying to convey, and what point she was trying to get across. Taylor answered, “When you’re about 19 or 20, you’ve got this very unique moment in life when you’ve got one foot in childhood and one foot in adulthood, and you don’t quite know where to stand. So, that moment is fragile and so formative.”

One scene that encapsulates the whole idea behind the making of the film was where the pair are having dinner with his friends and he completely ignores her. Not even his friends acknowledge her existence.

After the dinner, she says to him, “They’re all older than me” and “I feel so out of place.” This alone just shows how people his age and people her age are at entirely different states of mentality; she was too young and naive for him.

Some people think that Swift is causing unnecessary backlash toward Gyllenhaal because it’s supposedly a thing of the past, but what people aren’t thinking about is how Swift is now 31, so she now knows what it means to be 30, looking at a 20-year-old, and how unsettling the power dynamic can be.

What’s crazier, and what makes this even more relevant is the fact that Gyllenhaal continues to date younger women in their early to mid-20s, even though he turns 41 next month. Lyrics from “All too well” that are a direct translation of this are “And I was never good at telling jokes, but the punchline goes, I’ll get older, but your lovers stay my age.”

One thing that’s for certain is Swift will never fail to amaze her fans, and it’s indispensable for everyone to continue to follow her along her journey.

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