The Swan (2023)
September 28, 2023 11:40 AM - Subscribe

Two large, ignorant bullies ruthlessly pursue a small, brilliant boy.
posted by bbrown (6 comments total)
Released on Netflix today.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:41 PM on September 28, 2023

I had considerable reservations about this short because the source was so hard to read. I worried that the torture would be as graphic and drawn out as it was in the book.

It was not; it was largely abstract, which made it considerably more bearable. Rupert Friend was great.
posted by bbrown at 3:03 PM on September 28, 2023 [3 favorites]

Gorgeous, particularly the effect of the train rushing overhead, the black outfit change, the wings!
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 6:32 PM on September 29, 2023

The original story was the first story this cruel that I had ever read when I was in elementary school. I remember being unsettled by it. I liked how distanced this telling was.

The one question that I have is why the break between the first narrator and the second. Was it him again, even older? And why the cut? I'm still puzzled by that.
posted by umbĂș at 5:45 PM on September 30, 2023

The old narrator is Dahl himself.
posted by Grangousier at 4:08 AM on October 1, 2023

I was quite relieved by the quick comment by the narrator that he is Peter Watson telling the story 27 years after it happened. We at least know he survived and (physically) healed.

All of these shorts jump to Dahl as the narrator at points. In this case, I think we have Dahl's narration covering the part of the story that praises Peter's nature, describes events from other people's points of view (the people who saw a flying swan and Peter's mother), and departs from strict realism. All of that would be odd coming from adult-Peter-as-narrator.
posted by Karmakaze at 5:35 PM on October 1, 2023

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