Perfectionism: The Unfortunate End to Life

Portman's character, Nina, playing the Black Swan

Obsessions, Hidden Desires, Identity Crisis, Emotional Suffocation & Strains, Intoxication, Perfectionism, & Beauty…

The 2010 movie, “The Black Swan” incorporates and blends all these elements so beautifully and encapsulates its audience. The main character, Nina Sayers, played by Natalie Portman is a ballerina who lives with her obsessive mother, who pushes her to be the best ballerina she can be, but is also supportive of her downfalls. Portman plays a perfectionist, striving to keep some kind of sanity and normalcy in her life. Truth is she is 28-year-old girl who cannot identify herself as anything except a ballerina. She lives and breathes dancing. She suffers from many unexplained delusions and hallucinations and is plagued by them on a daily basis. On the outside she looks very angelic and harmless, while on the inside she suffers from demons that are inescapable. This is revealed by all the visions she has throughout the movie.

Her dance moves were flawless and pure perfection. She needed that sense of control because everything in her life was so out of control. Her mother was over-bearing, suffocating and tried to control every aspect of her life. Most probably because her mother was depressed and had no life of her own. Her mother was a former ballerina who devoted her life solely to her daughter.

Portman’s character got the lead in the play after hard work and great effort. She had to play two very different characters; one angelic and pure, “The White Swan,” while the other, “The Black Swan,” seductive and eye-catching. The Black Swan was the evil sister of the White Swan who ends up taking the suitor of her sister. With a lot of pressure from her mentor, Nina, (Portman) tried her very best to be her character. The character’s evilness and spite lived throughout her as a result. The delusions she experienced intensified.

I believe in the end, Nina’s merciless struggle for perfectionism and her desire to be identical to the evil Black Swan, ultimately lead to her doom, which was unfortunately, death.


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