Taylor Swift - Wildest Dreams (An Interpretation)
As you all have heard and seen, Taylor
Swift released her new video for Wildest Dreams during the Video Music Awards
(VMAs). Wildest Dreams is my favourite track of her album, 1989. Directed by
Joseph Kahn, of course I would be damn excited because he has directed so many
iconic music videos for so many artists like Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, Janet
Jackson and etc.
After watching Wildest Dreams for a bout 10
times straight, I felt compelled to write my personal interpretation of the
video. Let me get straight to it.
The first few scene of the video depicts
the African wildlife reserve – animals running free. This sets the mood and
setting for the video. Unlike some abstract music videos nowadays, this video
is very consistent with its portrayal of era, character and environment. The
scene cuts away into an overlaying of the animals and Taytay who looks like she
is dreaming – about the wild that is. Thus the first several seconds of already
capture the title of the song.
What do you associate the safari wilderness?
The heat, that is of course the Sun. Great connection made here. So the scene
from the sun to the big spotlight to TayTay’s eye, what could it possibly mean.
From my understanding, it is the director’s way of zooming to exactly whom the
video is about. The director juxtaposed the sun to the spotlight because both
are bright and linked it to her eye because it is round just like the spotlight
(physically). If you understand it a little bit deeper, it is just the way the
director wanted to introduce TayTay. The spotlight is on her, she is the star,
she is the apple of the director’s eye (director as in the person acting as the
director in the video). Hopefully you guys are not lost yet.
The scene cuts away into a giraffe, why you
may ask. This is because she sees herself as a giraffe – shy, quiet, calm and
graceful (will explain more about this as we go along). It cuts away into
TayTay, further strengthening the connection. The rest of the cut-aways before
she sings is to set the story line, a movie film recording is taking place in
the wild, era – before there was anything digital.
Next scene, as the camera zooms out of
TayTay, we see a giraffe in the background. That’s her (in her mind), the
giraffe may or may not really be there but it suppose to show their character
connection. The following seconds in the video shows TayTay and her male
counterpart, Scott Eastwood, going into filming. Before they kissed, the
giraffe is there again in the background, looking at Scott, I believe.
Scene continues to where she is wearing a
long flow-y dress being blown by the fan. Giraffe is there again, juxtaposed
against her – everything about the giraffe is long; long legs; long neck. Thus
the long dress TayTay is wearing.
The music video continues with a lion appearing
in the background (again the lion may or may not be actually there, it actually
to show characterization). Here the lion is actually Scott, the alpha male, so
the lion is actually at her. The giraffe and lion start this very dangerous
sexual relationship where both don’t know where it will lead them to.
Both of them start to fight on set. And a
zebra appears on scene, it is not coincidental. The zebra supposedly symbolizes
individuality and balance – hence black and white stripes. TayTay and Scott had
their fair share of ‘fun’ times together and now the unpleasant moments.
The next 40 seconds shows them exploring
the wild. Only the two of them are on the plane, two of them against the world.
When you are up there, nobody on the ground can stop them from doing anything
they want. The plane looks like it’s flying into the setting sun, symbolizing
there’s hope to where they are heading to (with their relationship).
TayTay frolics on the ground beside the
alpha male lion, symbolizing she has conquered her fears and is romancing the
lion. The next few cut-aways is a bit messy for me, so bear with me as I try to
explain it to you simply.
The next several second is directed that
way is to show that life if full of ups and downs, just like in a relationship,
it is not always a bed of roses. There’ the zebra that makes appearances, the
elephant, cheetah and the vultures. The
vultures is particularly very interesting because, the premise of the video is
that of TayTay being in a dream-like state but she’s not, she really is having
some sort of a relationship with Scott. The vulture in a dream, symbolizes that
you or someone is being opportunistic and taking advantage. From how I see it,
both are opportunistic and taking advantage of each other.
While the elephant in a dream ‘can refer to the powerful responses in us such as fear,
sex, survival, and the power of imagination to evoke great anxiety or great
The cheetah makes a dash in her ‘dream’
, reminding her that things are actually moving a bit too fast for them at the
One very interesting part of these
messy scenes is the appearance of three giraffes. TayTay might be thinking
about starting a family with Scott.
At the end of it, reality sets in, the
lion roars because he is unhappy or unsure, the giraffe runs away and there’s
only the one lonely giraffe again.
Special Note: At 2.35mins, both of them
kiss against the sunset. As their face merge with each other for a kiss, it
actually kind of creates a bright shining heart shape that slowly fades. This
is not a coincidence I suppose, this is to symbolizes, their brief romance is
coming to an end and so is their work as actors.
They stand in the dark studio, probably
saying their last goodbyes.
The rest are pretty self-explanatory. They
go to the movie premiere. She is happy to see him only to realize that he is
actually married (Like WHAT). The part where they looked at each other during
the scene in the movie they made – embracing each other probably sparked
something that made them to lock eyes.
She realizes that it is too much for her to
bear. She leaves the cinema even before the movie ends to go home I suppose (Well
there’s nobody around so I guess, she left early). Scott chases after her but
it is all too late (How could you play with her feelings like that, Urgh). As
the car moves and travels further, Scott is seen in the rear view mirror fading
into the distance. Clearly, TayTay wants to go far away from him and completely
forget about him.
Well folks, that was my take on the music video.
I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it and discovering
new things. I guess taking some filming modules in university did me good.