Taylor Swift needs no introduction – as one of the most successful pop musicians of all time, everyone reading this article likely already has a strong opinion of her. Lover or a hater, you can’t deny her impact on the music industry and our culture at large. With three Grammy awards for Album of the Year across three different genres, over 250 million records sold and the record for most streamed female artist on Spotify, her status as a music legend has been secured – and now she’s come to make her mark on cinema with her latest concert film.
The filmed version of Swift’s record-breaking, sold-out Eras Tour, which wrapped up its US leg this summer and is currently moving through Latin America before heading to Europe next year, has now been released in cinemas. It promises a magical night for her fans celebrating all things Taylor Swift. As one of those fans myself, I can firmly say that the film lives up to this promise entirely and delivers something for all to enjoy, Swiftie or not.
Due to the three-hour length of the Eras Tour live performances, the film eschews too much chat or backstage moments to focus on fitting as much music as possible on screen. The film benefits from this streamlined approach, focusing on what the audience are really here to see – Swift’s breath-taking performances of her biggest hits.
Despite some omissions (justice for ‘Cardigan’!), the film manages to fully capture the spectacle of a three-hour concert through its journey through Swift’s musical eras, featuring performances grouped around her ten albums and their contrasting visual and musical aesthetics. The song choices moving from childhood classics to country bangers to pop anthems and folk melodies means that whatever your musical preferences, there will be a performance you can appreciate.
A huge variety of costumes and set designs allow the performances to feel truly cinematic from; the witchy Halloween vibes of the Evermore era, the glitz and glamour of Midnights or the meta examination of Swift’s public personas in the Reputation era. The visual designs of each era showcase the variety and reinvention that characterises Swift’s discography and is one of the key sources of her continued popularity throughout her 17-year career. The innovations of this film don’t stop there – its unique release mechanism of releasing directly into cinemas without the use of a distributor will surely have a significant impact on future film releases moving forward.
Furthermore, the atmosphere of the screenings elevates the experience of watching the film. Swift’s team released the film in cinemas before making a streaming deal and requested the film only play on Thursdays, Fridays and the weekend to ensure fans experience the concert film in full. It’s easy to see why they made this decision once you’re surrounded by Swifties screaming along to the bridge of ‘Illicit Affairs’. You may have seen videos on social media of these sold-out screenings, and while they may seem intimidating, don’t be put off, like Swift-themed club night Swiftogeddon, these screenings are a representation of collective joy, especially that of young women celebrating their interests which are so often mocked by our culture. And really, what better experience to get from a film than that?
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is currently out in cinemas now.