This documentary on Taylor Swift came out almost two years ago. I just watched it for the first time on Netflix yesterday. I decided to give it a chance because I have heard a lot of people saying that they were not a fan of Swift and the documentary changed that because it humanized her. After watching the film, I understand that conclusion completely.
When someone is famous, it can be easy to see them as just that, a famous person, and along the way it can be forgotten how they experience all of the emotions and ups and downs of that “normal” people do. The film shows the behind-the-scenes moments and what Taylor has endured over the years with the press, an assault case, and struggles with an eating disorder that went on for years.
My favorite part about the film is the way it was directed (Lana Wilson). Some of the shots are out of focus, the editing is not always smooth, but this adds to the realness of the story. Instead of removing a shot because it was out of focus or choppy, it was still included in the film. In a way, it makes Taylor’s story more relatable and digestible. It could be interpreted as a metaphor for how her life might seem very glamorous from afar, and while that is part of the job, underneath it all she has many of the same struggles that her fans do. She struggles with self esteem, trying to better herself, impress people and one up her previous work.
Before watching this film, I was not a huge fan of Taylor’s. I was not a hater, but I just wasn’t a huge fan. I listened to her music and appreciated her talent and writing skills, but I did not connect to her music enough for me to be a big fan of hers. However, now I have an even deeper appreciation for her work, her determination and persistence that the press loves to overlook. Hopefully that continues to change and she continues to succeed in the years to come.
*Disclaimer: Making a movie is hard. Sometimes you have an idea and it is not interpreted how you intended it to be. All directors, producers, writers, and everyone on set should be proud at what they created and I do not want to diminish that. I just want to share my opinions so we can learn from movies and see what works and what didn’t.