Section: Arts

Review: ‘Eras Tour’ film nearly captures Taylor Swift’s magic

On Friday, global superstar Taylor Swift and AMC Theatres released the highly-anticipated concert film for her record-shattering tour: “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour.” The film earned over $100 million in advance ticket sales and has been well received by fans and critics alike. While the film is impressive, moving and well executed, it is also missing some of the personality and storytelling that Swift is most known and celebrated for by her long-time fans. 

The film uses footage from three of Swift’s Los Angeles shows to beautifully recreate the full concert-going experience. Cameras capture Swift from gorgeous angles and zoom in and out so that viewers can see the action up close on stage, while also providing more panoramic views of Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium. The cinematography is the most impressive of all of Swift’s tour films: It effectively conveys the incredible choreography, intricate costumes, elaborate set design and work of Swift’s backup singers, dancers and band. The tour, which celebrates Swift’s musical re-recording process and more than decade-long career, was divided by album into what are known by fans as “eras.” When you are experiencing the concert in person, it is hard to take in and remember all of the tiny details that Swift sprinkles into the show, so getting to see the concert from all angles adds to its impact and highlights the intentional choices Swift makes in each era.

The film does a commendable job capturing the incredibly impressive feat that is The Eras Tour, with some drawbacks. The concert itself had a runtime of three-and-a-half hours, but the film comes in at only about two hours and forty-five minutes. The film’s production team cut multiple songs from the concert to shorten the film, and I was shocked when I learned which songs were cut, including fan favorites such as “Wildest Dreams,” “‘tis the damn season” and “The Archer.” Eliminating songs not only creates more differences between the film and the actual show experience, but takes away from Swift’s incredible storytelling ability. 

Other important aspects of the concert were modified to accommodate the film’s shortened runtime. The transitions between the eras were shortened, and significant portions of Swift’s speeches before songs and interactions with her fans were either truncated or eliminated entirely. As a result, the film feels less personal than her other concert films, such as the “Reputation Stadium Tour” movie.

Despite significant cuts, the film is well executed. It allows fans who were unable to access the concert to witness some of what the in-person experience had to offer, while also providing fans who were able to attend a chance to relive their show. Fans have interpreted the film as a concert rather than a traditional seated film, dressing up in costumes and singing and dancing along to every song. Most importantly, the film effectively captures the absolute cultural phenomenon of The Eras Tour and serves as a reminder of the incredible fanbase Swift has created over the course of her career, one that has united viewers from all over the world. Both the tour and the film are a testament to the power Swift holds both on and off the stage. 

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