I know the All Too Well film all too well

Taylor Swift's highly anticipated short film has already amassed nearly 50 million views on Youtube and countless memes. What has made it so popular?

Harriet Metcalfe
29th November 2021
Image Credit: Youtube
When Taylor Swift's directorial debut opened with a quote from Pablo Neruda, I knew that blondie was gonna make us sit through a heart wrenching fifteen minute journey. And every ounce of my body was ready for it.

Love is so short, forgetting is so long

-Pablo Neruda

I'm fairly new to the Swift society (Folklore threw me down the rabbit hole last year) but after a bit too long on TikTok, I feel fairly caught up on the importance of Taylor's Version. So when Red TV came around, I had to listen, and it turns out, watch. The release of a ten minute version of fan-favourite song All Too Well needed something extra. Extra meaning Sadie Sink and Dylan O'Brien recreating (what many fans speculate to be) Taylor's relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal when she was 20 and he was 29... the same age difference as All Too Well's actors.

The film is rumoured to be about Swift and Gyllenhaal's 2010 relationship.
Image Credit: Flickr

As a writer and a director - Taylor has found another skill at which she flourishes. Her dialogue between Sink and O'Brien portrays gaslighting so realistically that it's scary - whilst Sink's character is trying to explain her feelings to him, O'Brien's Him is swearing and disagreeing with everything she says, pinning the blame back onto Her: "I don't think I'm making you feel that way, I think you're making yourself feel that way", before rolling his eyes, hugging her and apologising repeatedly.

"The whole thing, whether they're arguing or fighting, is incredibly intimate"

The red scarf is a key motif throughout the film. Image Credit: Youtube

The whole thing, whether they're arguing or fighting, is incredibly intimate, as the camera floats through their relationship. But it all culminates when we see a ginger Taylor at an event for "All Too Well" the novel, where without any clear edits or cuts, we go from backstage of the reading to the outside of the store, where a supposed older version of O'Brien's Him is watching through the window. But the camera never pans - we never see his face, because the fact he's still wearing her scarf is enough. She has recognisably changed, whilst He remains just the same. And She knows it... all too well.

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AUTHOR: Harriet Metcalfe
English Literature BA student. Loves film, TV, books and coffee. Thinks "Thor: The Dark World" gets too much hate. Twitter: @hattiemetcalfe

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