Taylor Swift Speaks to the Heartbroken With ‘All Too Well’ Short Film

Swifties everywhere have long been anticipating the re-release of Taylor Swift’s fourth studio album “Red” which originally came out in 2012. The new release of Swift’s albums comes from her desire to reclaim ownership of her work after it was revealed she didn’t own the master recordings of any of her songs due to a contract signed with Big Machine Records. After a public dispute with Scooter Braun, who bought Big Machine Records, Swift decided to re-record her music and make her own versions.

Among the many beloved songs that fans have been waiting for is the ultimate heartbreak anthem “All Too Well” from “Red.” The song is rumored to be based on Swift’s relationship with actor Jake Gyllenhaal, who she dated for three months. The pair dated when she was 20 and he was 29. Fans speculate that the song is a glimpse into what the relationship was like. 

To give further material for fans to work with, Swift’s version of “All Too Well” is 10 minutes long accompanied by a short film starring Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink as love interests. Sink is 19 years old and O’Brien is 30 years old, fueling the rumors of it being based on Swift and Gyllenhaal’s relationship. 

“All Too Well: The Short Film” was released on Nov. 12 along with the rest of the album “Red (Taylor’s Version).” The film opens up with Sink and O’Brien’s characters laying in bed in each other’s arms as she says to him “I feel like I made you up,” before panning to a montage of loving moments between the couple as the song plays in the background. 

Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

The first two minutes of the film are filled with seemingly magical moments and displays of affection before it takes a turn. Once the words “the first crack in the glass” appear on the screen, fans know that this is the turning point where the relationship turns sour. 

With the familiar and melancholy tune playing in the background, viewers see Sink and O’Brien’s characters sitting at dinner with his friends. Sink’s character looks visibly uncomfortable and tries to reach for her boyfriend’s hand, but he pushes it away.

The dropping of the hand proved to be a pivotal moment as after the dinner, it caused a fight between the two. The fight consists of classic gaslighting on O’Brien’s character’s part, which fans have since stated resonated with them. Audiences see as Sink tries to explain herself to him, to which he tells her that she’s overreacting and was being “weird” the whole time around his friends. 

The frustration and disappointment shown on Sink’s face as he tells her that he doesn’t know what she’s talking about will leave fans heartbroken and rooting for her to get out of that relationship. 

The fight, however, doesn’t last long. After successfully making her question her own sanity, O’Brien’s character embraces her and repeatedly apologizes. But, viewers who have long related to the song know that the damage has already been done.

The bridge of the song, which Swift fans have been screaming in their cars since its release in 2012, ushers in an intense breakup scene between the couple. After the breakup, the film shows Sink’s character reeling from the breakup and crying in her bed with her cellphone beside her. 

After, there is a flash-forward with the words “thirteen years gone,” where Sink’s character is now played by Swift. The new verses added into the song will leave fans shocked as they see Swift getting ready for a book launch with the lyrics “I was never good at telling jokes but the punchline goes: I’ll get older but your lovers stay my age,” play in the background. 

The new lyrics paired with Swift’s entry into the short film have left fans empathetic to a situation in which a young girl’s naivete was taken advantage of by an older man. 

The final moments of the short film show Swift’s character at the book launch of the fictional novel “All Too Well” as O’Brien’s character is shown watching through a window, wearing the scarf that is alluded to throughout the song. Paired with the powerful performances by Sink and O’Brien, this re-release will leave both Swift fans and non-Swift fans empathetic and forever wary of heartbreak.

The way Swift divided the film into different parts gives fans the perfect visual representation of the powerful song that has proved timeless over the years. The film is relatable, sad and honest in the way it tells the story of a young girl taken advantage of by an older man. 

Although it’s only 14 minutes long, the short film perfectly captures the feeling of heartbreak. No matter how long the relationship, the film portrays how destructive it was and will leave viewers invested and broken over a relationship that wasn’t even theirs. 

“All Too Well: The Short Film” is now streaming on Youtube.

By Lily Williams

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