Global sensation Taylor Swift continues to shatter not just concert ticket sales but now box office sales with the release of her concert film “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” in theaters worldwide since Oct. 13.
And it’s easy to see why. Her film crew brings to screen the absolutely electric energy that swept through Los Angeles’s SoFi Stadium, where she performed in early August. Above all, Swift proves that she is a natural-born performer throughout the entire 2 hour and 48 minute runtime. From her fierce charisma during her “reputation” era to the gentle ethereality she embodies in “Enchanted,” one thing is for sure: Swift knows how to deliver, and she always lives up to her nickname as the “queen of pop.”
Contrary to most movies, the “Eras Tour” film has viewers out of their seats — literally. Theaters encourage guests to sing, dance, dress up and even exchange friendship bracelets. Following its release, videos surfaced on social media of people jumping in excitement, waving lightsticks and yelling out fan chants. Especially for fans who didn’t have the chance to attend her ongoing “Eras Tour,” the movie perfectly encapsulated and recreated the concert experience in theaters.
Even for concertgoers, the film wasn’t just a shadow of the original experience. The masterful cinematography weaves together never-before-seen angles of overhead stadium shots to close-ups of Swift and her backup dancers, heightening her theatrical performances to a league of their own. Every facial expression, hand gesture and flick of the arm is captured. It’s impossible to not watch in spellbound awe upon witnessing the length to which Swift immerses herself into every song, from the way she collapses onto the ground in “illicit affairs” and her performance of pained desperation in “tolerate it,” to create such emotionally charged experiences.
“Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” movie jumps between Swift’s eras throughout the years, painting the evolution of her musical career. With every new era, Swift reinvents herself. After starting off dauntlessly confident with songs from her 2019 “Lover” album, she returns to iconic throwbacks from “Fearless,” like the classic “Love Story.” She is a storyteller with every song from her “evermore” setlist. As Swift’s intense performance conveying the emotional vulnerability of “tolerate it” comes to a close, a three-dimensional visual of an enormous snake (which had been edited into the movie), wraps around the stage, inching its way toward the audience. Viewers are instantly swallowed by the overwhelming presence that is Swift in her “reputation” era.
Then, Swift glides across the stage in a breathtakingly layered ballgown and transports us into the magical world of “Enchanted,” arguably her most mesmerizing track from her album “Speak Now.” Bursting into the irresistibly catchy “22,” she next transitions into her wildly fun “Red” era, bringing back the feel-good anthems of 2012 in full force. Swift concludes with the 10-minute version of fan favorite “All Too Well” before whisking us yet again to the whimsical realm of “folklore.” She sings fiction into life throughout all six tracks — from tales of imaginary love triangles (“betty” and “august”) to those of wistful yearning (“the 1”).
Sparkling from head to toe in all pink, Swift marks the beginning of her “1989” set with a hand on the hip and a knowing smile. Her power strut says it all — the queen of pop has arrived. As she points a hand at the camera, you can’t help but resonate with Swift’s unapologetic self-confidence and let loose to the beat of some of her biggest hits.
Before showcasing her latest album “Midnights,” Swift introduces the first surprise song of her acoustic set, “Our Song,” followed by “You’re on Your Own, Kid.” Perhaps deliberately, these song choices seem to bring Swift’s discography full circle — “Our Song” from her debut album “Taylor Swift” and “You’re on Your Own, Kid” from her most recent album “Midnights.”
Befitting for the finale of her concert, Swift is absolutely radiant or, as some may say, “Bejeweled.” Decked out in all things shiny, she wastes no time pulling out all the stops in one dazzling celebration of her latest musical venture, “Midnights.” Even after singing for well over two hours, Swift is more alive than ever, the twinkle in her eyes building with every song. Combined with the illusory visual effects, intensive choreography and stunning costume changes packed into this single setlist, Swift’s performances bring to life the versatility of her beloved “Midnights.”
For the sake of time, the concert film does exclude the following songs from the original setlist: “The Archer,” “no body, no crime (featuring HAIM),” “cardigan” and “Wildest Dreams.” “Long Live” was cut as well, but the recording played during the end credits. Despite this, it’s hard to complain when the movie, especially its ending, evokes a sense of warmhearted closure.
“Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” encapsulates the living essence of Swift’s most transcendent concert yet. It is a testament to the blood, sweat and tears channeled into the creation of this masterpiece — not just from Swift but her incredibly dynamic backup dancers, backup vocalists and band. It is the ultimate culmination of her new and old hits and serves as the full-force reawakening of Swift post-pandemic. Wherever Taylor Swift goes, best believe she will always find a way to “make the whole place shimmer.”
As of Dec. 13, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” is available to rent on streaming services.