The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

‘Long Live’ the ‘Eras’ Movie: Taylor Swift Perfectly Immortalizes her Legendary Tour

AP Images
Taylor Swift and her backup dancers arrive at the world premiere of “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” on Oct. 11 in Los Angeles.

The stadium became the theater. The highest-grossing female tour of all time became the highest-grossing concert film of all time. Nobody had to wage war for tickets, and not a single bank account was obliterated in the process.

AMC Theatres debuted “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” on Oct. 12, giving fans around the world a chance to relive the concert or experience it for the first time on the big screen. 

Swifties jumped on that chance, adorning themselves in the trademarks of their favorite album, trading their remaining friendship bracelets and screaming along to their favorite songs with their friends once more in the theater.

Their momentous reaction speaks to the impact of the tour, as well as the film’s deftness in echoing – in some ways even heightening – the experience of attending the live concert.

The film starts the same way the concert did. A clock ticking down to zero. Scattered lyrics blending and swelling. Swift ascending into the stadium and onto the screen.

“Eras” is not a background documentary, like Swift’s last film release, “Miss Americana.” It’s a movie adaptation of the entire concert, minus a few songs (much to the “Cardigan” lovers’ dismay), filmed in mostly up-close shots. This intimate viewpoint makes the detail far more perceptible.

In a depth that is impossible for a stadium crowd to experience, the watcher can appreciate Swift’s costumes and understand the subtle nods to her music. 

The Midnights bodysuit’s crystal teardrop fringe, which references “Midnight Rain,” as well as the witchlike Evermore dress’ corset and flowery stitching, which emulate the “Willow” music video, come to mind as previously unnoticeable features.

It was startling, really, how much detail was exposed. The viewer finds themself noticing her hair getting curlier as the night goes on, how her fingernails were painted in the signature colors of each of her 10 albums and her shoes changing with every costume switch.

The same is true of the visual effects. The camera pans out to show the backup dancers moving through synchronized choreography as cloaked “Willow” witches, or zooms in on couples waltzing across the stage as Swift sings “Lover.” 

And the shifts in frame capture the energy of each song perfectly. From quick, flashing cuts that heighten the drama of “Look What You Made Me Do” to birds-eye shots that stare down at a thrashing Swift during “Don’t Blame Me,” through the halo of upward-pointing strobe lights around her, which paint her as a god surrounded by her sea of disciples. 

Also increased by a close-up view was Swift’s expressive power. She was commanding enough to hold the attention of an entire stadium, and though it’s reasonable to fear that such presence might read as overdone on screen, that wasn’t the case.

In fact, much of her impact was only increased by an up-close view. The “Tolerate It” table scene was soul-crushing before, but seeing every tiny motion in perfect quality took it to a new level. 

And during the 10 minute performance of “All Too Well,” Swift sent most of the theater into tears with just a guitar, a standing mic, her voice and her face.

All this to say: it was completely deserved for Swifties to treat this like concert part two. Nearly every emotion invoked by the live show prevailed within that dark theater. 

The critical world has gathered as much. The film held a 100% tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoes for an entire week after its release.

“For the devoutly faithful who want to remember what it was like to be in an arena with their idol, or want to feel that communion for the first time, ‘Eras’ is a formidable kind of merch,” said Vanity Fair critic Richard Lawson.

In comparison to Swift’s 2017 concert film, “Taylor Swift: Reputation Stadium Tour,” the movie is longer, more artistically filmed and more visually enrapturing. Unlike “Reputation,” which features Charli XCX and Camila Cabello, “Eras” features no guest artists.

This was a good choice. The guests in the 2017 film pale in comparison to Swift, leading to an awkward few minutes of unison singing. “Eras” is an immense step up because it focuses on what fans are really here for: Swift herself.

And of course, “The Great War” for tickets cannot be denied as a possible motivation for making the “Eras” film. Though it would be ridiculous to claim that the movie makes up for the Ticketmaster debacle that robbed so many fans of their chance to experience the concert of a lifetime, it certainly eases the blow.

Those unfortunate Swifties might never hear the thunderous roar of a stadium collectively worshiping the singer, but the film’s intimate portrayal of her musical journey offers a closeness to Swift that not even the front row of a live concert could experience.

And with what you’d have to pay for those front row seats, this version of “The Eras Tour” should be regarded as a treasure for Swifties everywhere and a formidable move by the singer, who continues to prove to the world that she is a genuine “Mastermind.”

About the Contributor
Sami McKenney
Sami McKenney, Opinion Editor
Sami McKenney is a junior, a second-year journalism student, and the opinion editor of The Claw and Tiger Times Online. She is one of two presidents of Creative Arts Club, an officer of NEHS, and a member of NHS, NFHS, French Club, and the Ethics Bowl team. Outside of school, Sami can be found almost every day at Turning Pointe Academy of Dance, either in classes or in rehearsal for its pre-professional company: Tour Dance. Additionally, she is an avid reader, cat lover, and Taylor Swift enthusiast. She hopes to pursue a career in journalism and is extremely grateful to be part of such a supportive program and capable team of staff members with whom to start her journey!