What a great way to start a week: watching a superstar address head-on the gossipy judgments made about her, with humor, smarts and a few Oscar-worthy breakdowns.
Specifically, all hail Taylor Swift's ridiculously unhinged new video for "Blank Space." The song, one of the highlights of her already-platinum new album "1989," soundtracks a video involving the arc of love between Swift, playing an outsize caricature of herself, and a handsome boyfriend named Sean. That story begins as one would expect from Our Heroine: set in an idyllic paradise, with her living large.
We watch as this Sean approaches Taylor's home, passing a white stallion (of course), and walking into her mansion. They're obviously in love: They dance – he dips her and her eyes shine. Standing before a canvas, she puts the finishing touches on a well-imagined portrait she's painted of Sean. They make for a stunning couple as they walk along the estate grounds, him tethering two Dobermans. They ride horses. He chases Taylor playfully, smiling longingly, as they head through the woods. She carves a heart in a tree, marking their love: "Sean + Taylor."
Then, halfway through, all hell breaks loose.
Standing on a balcony, we note a suspicious Taylor give Sean a hard sideways glance as he's texting someone. They start fighting. We're not in a fairy tale anymore, but a Raymond Carver story. Words fly like stones. Taylor throws a vase at Sean -- it crashes against the fireplace.
We see her bereft and sobbing, her mascara smeared, her eyes burning. She turns vindictive as she stands by her swimming pool dangling Sean's phone over the water. He pleads. "Oops," she mouths as the phone plops, her eyes shooting darts like a silent film star. She slashes the portrait she painted. She rages, mouthing the lyrics: "Got a long list of ex-lovers, they'll tell you I'm insane." At that moment, she looks crazy – ridiculously, wonderfully so.
This is Taylor on fire.
The tirade continues, gets even more fiery as our sweetheart, the young woman we love to adore, goes all in: scissors to shirts, burning clothes thrown from windows.
Then the music breaks for a moment. We see Taylor with an apple. She's spinning it on her finger. She takes a huge bite out of it – then heads outside and starts smashing Sean's fancy sports car with a golf club. Ouch! Wielding an ax, Taylor makes a beeline for the love tree, and starts chopping at the heart she'd carved only moments earlier.
A final scene offers resolution -- and hope for a new love.