Some characters have driven themselves to the brink of insanity in their quest for approval, success and most importantly perfection. An obsessed protagonist has an inner madness that compels him to be ambitious. Here is a look at three examples where the artist has brilliantly converted this passion into a reality, sacrificing everything they have in the process. The examples in this list are distinguished artists in their respective fields.

Black Swan

The protagonist, Nina, is a dancer at the prestigious New York ballet company. Her obsession with being perfect leads to terrifying hallucinations and induces a state of mental confusion. She attains perfection in the end but almost goes insane.

Image result for black swan
Nina feels threatened by the other dancers in the ballet rehearsals. She tries too hard to be perfect.

One of the new dancers, Lily is as good as Nina, making her increasingly paranoid. Lily unlike Nina is carefree and wild. These qualities set her apart as an artist. Both compete for to be the lead for the ballet. Nina pays a heavy price for her obsession with perfection as the film ends.

The Prestige

Two magicians, one magic trick and an unrivalled ambition. Both the magicians go to great lengths to perfect their art and to be the best. The underlying theme in the movie is- obsession. Their is no fixed protagonist or antagonist in the film- it is left to the opinion of the viewer.

Image result for the prestige angier
”It took courage to climb into the machine every night not knowing if I would be the man in the box or the prestige.”

Angier, driven by revenge, rage and jealousy meets a tragic fate in the end. However, we are more shocked by the twists that blow our minds in the last ten minutes. What distinguishes an obsessed artist from other people is his dedication to his work. Both Angier and Borden wanted to claim the title of the best magician and in the end, both lose it. Their secrecy is inhuman and has been darkly presented by the director.

Image result for alfred borden the prestige 1920x1080
Nobody knows that Borden has a twin brother who helps him create the perfect illusion.

The Transported Man is a really simple trick to its core. However this magic trick ignites the belief of greatness in both the magicians. A special mention has to be given to the Chinese magician who appears for a small amount of time in the movie. According to Borden, it is “Total devotion to his art. A lot of self-sacrifice”. Angier’s wife Julia says “He’s been pretending to be a cripple for years.” Here is the entire scene.


“I was there to push people beyond what’s expected from them. I believe that is an absolute necessity.”

This quote pretty much sums up Fletcher’s philosophy and thinking in the movie. Until this point in the movie, the audience disliked him and hated his attitude towards his students. The dominating man caused emotional distress and humiliated them. But now, the viewer is clearly divided over his dark and uncanny ideology.

Fletcher often berates and humiliates his students.

However, the real star and the obsessed protagonist of this powerful movie is Andrew Nieman. The question that echoes in everyone’s mind is how far is a person willing to go to master his art and maximise his potential. Nieman makes sacrifices, shapes his ambitions and goes beyond his optimum level of exhaustion. The end result is respect and perfection.

Image result for andrew neiman whiplash 1920x1080
Andrew Neiman prepares himself for being the best.

The climax ( which takes the movie on a whole new level) is both fascinating and heartbreaking to watch. Neiman proves himself to be worthy of greatness. Damien Chazelle did a phenomenal job with the movie and it will definitely be remembered for generations to come.

What sets successful individuals apart from the crowd is their obsession with success and their unquestionable dedication to their work.

Leave a Reply