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Black Swan
Jeong So-ha | 승인 2017.07.13 12:41

The Endless Desire to Become Perfect

This review may have some spoilers about the film Black Swan (2010). If you have not watched the film, the reporter recommends you to watch the movie first to appreciate the film solely on your own. 

 

“Beautiful as always, Nina.” 

Nina is a top ballerina, who was better than anyone at playing the white swan. Everyone looks up to her. However, it is hard, even for her, to play both the white swan and the black swan in one act. Moreover, a new performer named Lily appears as her rival. Nina feels threatened and starts to feel that she is not the performer she used to be.

Expectation of other people may be something beyond imagination. In the case of Nina, she was always the “best”, and she had always tried to fulfill the expectation. However, we can ask ourselves this question: Do we always have to try to be the person that others think we are? Do we have to live a life where others set our goals? It is our choice to do whatever we want with our lives, with no one else taking the responsibility. It is unclear whether we would have another life. If this is the only life that we can live, why give up the leadership in our own lives? 

You’re a sweet girl.”

This would be a very sweet compliment, but it may also be very dangerous in some aspects. In the movie, Nina is 28 years old, but she still relies on her mother in almost every way. Her mother treats her as a child, and she cannot even go out for fun on her own without her mother’s permission.

However, it is not hard to see such parents nowadays. Since there are fewer children than before, parents tend to try their best for their children. They do not know that this could be dangerous. Too much affection and care may lead to the lack of ability for children doing things on their own. It is easier for parents to say “I am doing this for you” and justify it to themselves rather than letting their own children do something beyond their protection. Parents should be aware of the fact that they cannot protect their children indefinitely.

Moreover, parents could be making mistakes by “making” children do what the parents wish. It is impossible for children to disobey their parents, since they are absolute to them. Parents, like Nina’s mother, can lead their children in the wrong direction. The role of parents should not be giving children directions on which way to go, but “helping” them find their own way. Love is never wrong, but the way of loving may be wrong sometimes. 

 

“I was perfect.” 

The main theme of the movie is “perfectionism”, the desire to be perfect. Nina risks everything to become perfect. After taking the role, the only reason for her to live is to be the “perfect swan”. The whole film is about Nina wanting to be perfect, but why is Nina so obsessed by this?

Everyone has a desire to become flawless, and people try to become a better person for many reasons. No one wants to make mistakes, and we also wish that others would see us like that. However, being flawless in everything is almost impossible. We have to admit that we become closer to perfect when we learn things from our mistakes. Nevertheless, there could be some circumstances where we cannot accept that simple fact. Nina always thought that she was perfect, so she could not stand the fact that she was imperfect in some areas.

Though, as we know that we cannot be truly perfect, we also know that we have possibilities to be changed. We still have the chance to change ourselves. We grow as we experience new situations. We fail, fall down, get hurt, and we may stop there for a very long time. However, it also gives us experience and allows us to learn new things. We get up and we continue to go down the path, knowing that it will be easier because we have gone through many things in our past. The important thing is that we should not stop trying. The way to perfection is full of imperfection. Ifwego through the path without giving up, maybe we will be close enough to perfection. 

 

 

Jeong So-ha  felix97@konkuk.ac.kr

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