Under a thundering midnight sky, a murder of ravens fly over a Victorian mansion. A raven perches on top of a grave. On the tombstone, it reads: “Here lies Taylor Swift’s reputation.”
Rising out her grave with a decaying face, she snarls as she crawls on the ground. She centers her tombstones, which blows all the others in the cemetery back in place. With a shovel, she digs into a grave. There, a golden-haired Taylor Swift lies in a coffin, wearing a silver dress, her arms across her chest.
In a bathtub full of jewels, she holds a bracelet between her fingers and makes a gun gesture and then bites on it. On a throne, wearing a red dress, snakes slither around her gold heels. A floating tea kettle pours tea for her, which she sips.
She crashes into a pole, shards of glass from the windshield flying into her eyes. Wearing a leopard print jacket and holding her Grammy, she spreads herself out on the driver’s side as the paparazzi snap photos of her body. A leopard growls beside her.
She swings inside a gilded bird-cage, guards protecting it. At a table, she picks up a crab. Outside a bank vault, customers fall to the floor while she and her friends, wearing bear masks, steal money. She swings a baseball bat. They sit on their motorcycles, wearing studded leather jackets and hats.
During a speech, she hits her pointer in her hands while young women, wearing the same outfits, listen, their eyes blank. Afterwards, they lie unmoving in a pile on the floor as she puts her hand on her forehead.
She bursts into the mansion. Her male African-American and Latino assistants follow behind her. One assistant (Todrick Hall) holds a feather pen and paper, dictating what she says. She instructs them to take off their jackets, revealing tops saying “I Heart TS.”
By an ice blue T, she stands upon various versions of herself. They beg for mercy, shouting at her for help. She spreads out her arms, setting off a bolt of lighting, killing them all.
In the bathtub, she speaks on the phone, stating the “Old Taylor’s dead.” She dances with her African-American assistants.
Carrying her dog, she walks away from a TS store as it explodes. She lifts up two motorcycles and spray paints “Reputation” in red on a plane.
Applause follows by the plane hanger. 2008 “You Belong With Me” Taylor puts her hands on her cheeks and exclaims “You guys!” Zombie Taylor chides her, telling her to “stop making that surprise face. It’s so annoying.” 2014 “Shake It Off” Taylor continues, saying “she possibly can’t be that surprised all the time.”
Current 2017 Bitter Taylor asks “What’s with that bitch?” Zombie Taylor tells her not to call her that. 2014 VMA Taylor confronts 2010 “Mean” Taylor and tells her to “stop acting all nice. You’re so fake.” 2010 Taylor cries. Leather studded Taylor comments “there she goes, playing the victim. Again.” Leopard print Taylor says she’s “getting receipts” and adds that she’s “going to edit it later.” 2008 VMA Taylor says she “would very much like to be excluded from this narrative.” They all tell her to shut up.
A year of backlash and negative press has turned once fairytale princess Taylor Swift into a hellbent villain seeking vengeance from those wronged her.
The first people to face her wrath are the press. They savored every tweet attacking her and then reported on the memes mocking her explanation. They’ve been waiting in the shadows, their keyboards cocked and loaded as they parse her words, looking for false equivalencies. It’s all because of them. Their face-heel turn damned her while they chose to side with reality stars.
Next, are the people who flooded her Twitter account with snake emojis. They were women who were supposed to be for other women. Her own gender betrayed her. At the lecture hall, she brainwashes a room full of women with visuals of her cat and the word “squad,” promising unity and discipline. Then, she gets them in a room and kills them. Pop culture history won’t be kind, shunning them as wastes of human space.
She lashes out at every criticism of herself, doubling down on the comments, believing she’s above being called out for her contradictory actions. Her literal self-immolation, though, has an offensive stench, reeking of narcissism with subtle whiffs of misogyny and racism. The racism occurs as the African-American and Latino men serving her in the mansion. It’s a troubling tone-deaf image that lacks awareness, stating in an implicit manner that they are “other” and less than human.
Director: Joseph Kahn Year: 2017
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