The video for “I Don’t Want to Live Forever, the Fifty Shades Darker collaboration between Taylor Swift and Zayn Malik, was allegedly written in a week. The video for it looks like it was conceived and shot in one day.
My favorite genre of celebrity music videos is “It’s Hard To Be A Celebrity.” I’m sure being shouted at while having your picture taken sucks, but it’s not unexplored territory by people for whom this is a problem. Sorta seems as though Swift and Malik were like, “Hmm, what happened to me in the last 24 hours? I got my picture taken and then stayed in a nice room where someone else makes the bed. Let’s do that.” In that vein, the video opens with Malik’s deep awareness of his romantic loss being rudely interrupted by paparazzi. They even follow him into the hotel, can you believe it? Malik remains stoically bummed, however.
Meanwhile, Swift is going through her parallel agonies, exposing a single boob, as though to say, “My heart is under here.” They go to their separate hotel rooms, where Swift engages in such normal break-up behaviors as pouring an entire champagne bottle into one glass, and plucking the petals off a white rose. He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he has this same bouquet in his room, who is sending these? Are they from management?
And yet, these scenes are still better than when clips from the film are cut into shots of the performers on stage in a spotlight. Also in its favor: Zayn Malik’s beard length. It’s working for him... and for me. I was hoping that someone would get tied up and whipped (WITH THEIR CONSENT, OF COURSE), but I doubt either Swift or Malik would give anyone their safe word, even for art.