Released on Oct. 12, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” is a nearly three-hour film that documents Taylor Swift’s North American tour of the same name which began earlier in the year. The movie is a riveting and energetic compilation of her performances across the Los Angeles leg of the tour.
However, presumably for time reasons, Swift had to cut songs from the movie, including fan favorites “The Archer,” “no body, no crime,” “cardigan,” “Wildest Dreams” and “Long Live” (though “Long Live (Taylor’s Version)” played during the credits).
In being called “The Eras Tour,” Swift attempted to encapsulate her entire discography, from her debut album, “Taylor Swift,” referred to as “Debut,” to her latest album, “Midnights.” Each album except for “Debut” was given a section of the concert known as an era. Most of the eras came with set and outfit changes to match the music, which range in style from pop to country.
Due to the pandemic, Swift had to cancel her “Lover Fest” tour. She released two albums during the COVID-19 quarantine — “folklore” and “evermore” — which she also could not tour for. With these albums in the mix, Eras had to represent over 200 songs. Tour tickets, however, were expensive and hard to come by. The opportunity to see Swift on the big screen at a far more affordable price is one that many were eager to take advantage of.
The movie was a perfect homage to the concert. Singing and dancing dominated theaters, and Swifties enthusiastically traded friendship bracelets — a nod to her song “You’re On Your Own, Kid.” The first thing Swift says in the movie is, “Oh, hi!” which perfectly encapsulates her joy for performing on the big screen. While Swift is certainly not the best dancer, or maybe even the best singer, on stage, she thrives through her inside jokes and playful demeanor. From her winks to little waves, Swift connects with the audience through the screen.
At times, however, the movie is overwhelming and fast-paced. By the time your eyes focus on something, the angle would change, not allowing time to really take in what was happening. Additionally, the editing throughout the movie, particularly in the “Reputation” era, could have been more consistent. Halfway through the film, a new editing element of fading in and out of clips was jarring at first.
The most disconcerting part of the movie, though, was the number of phones in the audience recording Swift. The clips would flash from Swift to the audience, and while sometimes they would show enthusiastic fans, sometimes all the viewer could see in the audience was people standing and holding their phones up.
The most remarkable thing about the film was the audiences’ new ability to see and appreciate Swift’s backup dancers, backup singers and band. While Swift’s dance moves were a little awkward, this was not the case for those backing her up — and stealing the show in the process.
Due to its length, seeing the movie is a significant time commitment. Unless you really love Taylor Swift, three hours could quickly become boring, especially if you saw the concert live in the past few months. Seeing it in the theater could also entail Swifties screaming in your ear every time Swift changes her outfit or the set, which, while expected at a concert, is a different story in a dark movie theater.
Overall, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” is a lighthearted, colorful and silly movie that is well worth watching if you have three hours to spare and want to understand the hype.
Talia LeVine is a photographer for The Herald and a University News Senior Staff Writer focusing on Admissions & Financial aid. She is a first-year from Seattle, WA studying Political Science with an emphasis on human rights.