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regular-article-logo Monday, 20 May 2024

Fortnight music video: Taylor Swift’s tortured artiste transforms scars into art

The video also features Post Malone, Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles

Sanghamitra Chatterjee Calcutta Published 20.04.24, 12:49 PM
Taylor Swift and Post Malone

Taylor Swift and Post Malone Instagram

Taylor Swift plays an artiste trapped and tortured in a mental asylum following her failure to move on from a short-lived romance with rapper Post Malone’s character in the music video for Fortnight, the first single dropped from her 11th studio album The Tortured Poets Department on Saturday.

The four-minute-nine-second-long music video opens with Swift chained to a bed in a mental hospital, suspended in mid-air. The room is in disarray, with objects partly turned upside down. A tranquiliser rests on the singer’s tongue as she stands before a mirror, wiping her face to reveal scars that transform into art.

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Clad in an elegant black gown, Swift enters a library where she sits opposite Malone. Through lyrics, cinematography, and a monochrome colour palette, the video evokes their past romance, troubled estrangement and failed attempts to reconnect.

Despite their brief relationship ("I touched you for only a fortnight"), their split seems to have deeply affected Swift, causing her to spiral into depression. "I love you, it's ruining my life," sings the 34-year-old artiste, while Malone echoes similar sentiments. Their energies collide, visually depicting how Swift's thoughts remain consumed by their passionate past.

They lie together on a cut-out of Swift's head amidst scattered books and pages. The following clips show the 14-time Grammy-winning singer receiving electric shocks in an asylum, where Malone appears as one of the doctors.

The video includes appearances by Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles from Peter Weir’s 1989 coming-of-age drama film Dead Poets Society. As sparks fly around, the 28-year-old rapper saves Swift from a potential short circuit. The two lock eyes suggesting their longing for each other and a desire to reconcile.

Subsequent clips show Malone attempting to reach out to Swift amidst stormy weather. The 34-year-old singer-songwriter sits atop a telephone booth, symbolising her elusiveness yet continuous presence in Malone's mind.

However, the lyrics suggest that the estranged lovers are now married to other people. “Your wife waters flowers, I wanna kill her... My husband is cheating, I wanna kill him,” croons Swift as the video ends with the two lovers reuniting long after their separation.

Swift teamed up with Oscar-nominated cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto for the music video. However, this is not the first time that the two have joined forces. Prieto previously worked on the 2020 music videos for Swift’s songs The Man, Cardigan, and Willow.

Swift’s latest album dropped at midnight on April 19 in the US and at 9:30am on the same day in India. Two hours after its release, the Gorgeous singer announced that The Tortured Poets Department features 15 extra songs in addition to the 17 initial tracks. The studio album has already shattered previous records set by Swift, becoming Spotify's most-streamed album in a single day within 24 hours of its launch.

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