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Saturday, 12 March 2011

Black Swan


"Nina, what did you do?"
"I felt it. Perfect. It was perfect."

The entire theme stuck a chord within me. Romancing your artiste so much that you become the one you photograph/ dance/ paint/write about...

But it was more that that. It was about perfection. It was about doing one thing long and hard for so long that you're that and that is you. With a looming fear of losing sanity in the process.
But then, it feels perfect.

However, it's not limited only to an artist's life. It's there everywhere. Look at it in the business world.

Today we've a job, we work our hours and grumble if we need to exceed them. We are like the man on the piano (in the movie) who says "I've got a life". And I am not saying that we should be any different. But talk about entrepreneurs who work their a***s off. Holidays. Weekends. Day and Night. They work on and on.

And what more - just like the ballet show, there's no guarantee that any bit of there long hard work is going to pay off. It's a maddening quest for perfection...

That brings me to the second theme which movie highlighted...


"Art is individualism, and individualism is a disturbing and disintegrating force" - Oscar Wilde

Ballet is about team work. If there's a lack of harmony among dancers - try however hard might the main protagonist be, the ballet is not going to pull through.

But if you look closely - it's all about the swan, the central character. The movie is about the swan's fight. The ballet is about the swan's life. It she and only she. It's about that one one individual.

Western culture as opposed to our culture has always been associated with portraying Individualism. Be it Howard Roark or Neo.

And now I might be stepping over the Individualism and entering Heroism - but look around. It's always one individual and his struggle of his self liberation and perfection we focus upon. Gandhi and our freedom, Sachin and the Indian Cricket Team and so on.

And lastly,


"The only person standing in your way is you"

It's imperfect to define people in absolute terms. A person who might not have any professional respect for times and deadlines might go at lengths to do the same thing for a friend. A ruthless business-man might be moved to his core during his charity visits. An ethical cricket player might cheat in exams. We all have split personalities. Not to the extent of Metaphysical dualism, but still. We all are good. And Evil.

Parting words...

"Perfection is not just about control. It's also about letting go. Surprise yourself so you can surprise the audience. Transcendence! Very few have it in them."


  1. I am so not going to watch a movie with you anytime. :P

  2. Hey - to be fair - the movie deserved more than "it's about pressure of ballet dancing" :P

  3. Simply loved this post! ... As for individualism, I might add that only the primitive societies can/could sustain collectivism; individualism is bound to take over sooner or later. Even collective effort requires a leader. I guess it is not culture specific then.

  4. far as individualism is concerned I believe it has always existed and everywhere..whether it be west or east ...the collectivism which is portrayed about east is something like a mask trying to hide the reality ..may be out of fear..fear of getting revealed....quite like LOVE..which is surely a masked feeling..n the mask is prominent in east...

    ..and about this was an awesome read :)

  5. Yes, it is bound to exist given the nature of man! Only that this theme has a more pronounced usage in the western world..."Mask" is what we do, as Sandeep says, to continue emphasizing on collectivism. Don't know what is better for humanity :) John Nash - are you listening?

  6. Nice post. The observation of "Dualism" was fantastic. So true - "The only person standing in your way is you"

  7. Thanks Poddar,isn't that your first comment on my blog. Double thanks for that :)

  8. a very well observed n awesomely structured write up......luved it....:)

  9. Thanks Gummy :)

    Sanghamitra - Wow, welcome :)