Perfect: The World Of Synchronized Swimming Is Not So Glamorous

YBLTV Film Review – Perfect

Perfect, directed by Jérémie Battaglia. YBLTV Review by Patrick Mackey.
Perfect, directed by Jérémie Battaglia. YBLTV Review by Patrick Mackey.

If you’re like me, you have never stopped to consider what goes into synchronized swimming. We change the channel during the Olympics, find swimmers on the screen, and keep searching. What if you took a moment to realize how much work these ladies go through, in order to reach perfection? This is the basis for the documentary, Perfect, as we follow a Canadian swim team as they approach the Olympics.

Trials And Techniques

Everyone has played a sport at some point in their life, whether in gym class, or outside of class for fun. Every time you or one of your teammates made a mistake you had to do it again. While most people look at swimming as a recreation, these ladies see it as so much more.

Their training includes exercises from other activities such as working with weights or ballet, just to prepare to get in the pool. Just like football coaches do, they watch films after a run through, only these ladies do not always have the luxury of waiting until the next practice to correct their mistakes. If you have a two-hour training time, and your routine lasts five minutes, you know that the training will dissect the angle of every bent leg, raised elbow and more. You may run that same small section of moves twenty times in order to have every team member get the move down flawlessly. And this is only to make it through the qualifiers.

“These girls have earned the right to demand just as much respect as any other athlete on the planet.” –Patrick Mackey, @mackeyp42, YBLTV Writer/Reviewer

To Rise Above

Imagine an activity that is as physically demanding as football, now stand on your head and hold your breath. This is one of the realities that synchronized swimmers put themselves through. Concussions, dislocated knees and broken bones are just a few of the injuries sustained on the team followed in this documentary.

The Canadian synchronized swimming team opens up to what their struggles are. To the untrained eye, they look incredible. However, in the world of their competition, they have to be beyond incredible. To qualify for the Olympics, they must strive for flawlessness. Synchronized swimming is still a judged sport, so they have to be the best they can be, and still could be docked points if a judge prefers a particular aesthetic.

The Canadian team is unlike many of their competitors. Most synchronized teams choose girls who are similar looking to bring an illusion of oneness to the routine. Canada’s girls are of different height and different ethnicities, so they must rise above. That may mean they have to find time to go tanning so they can all match when it’s time to shine.

Perfect, directed by Jérémie Battaglia. YBLTV Review by Patrick Mackey.
Perfect, directed by Jérémie Battaglia. YBLTV Review by Patrick Mackey.

Final Thoughts

Seeing behind the scenes of the synchronized swimming world is a real wake up call. Just because these ladies are performing in water or apply makeup, do not think less of them. Rigorous training and workouts should earn them your respect. I have no doubt I would be unable to do some of the things they can, and I consider myself a decent swimmer. Next time I have the opportunity, I look forward to sitting down and watching a synchronized competition for myself. From the moment the team walks out into public view to the time they stand on the podium and receive their score. They have earned the right to demand just as much respect as any other athlete on the planet.

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PERFECT INFO:

Genre: Documentary
Studio: Production du Rapide Blanc
Starring: Claudia Holzner, Marie-Lou Morin, Meng Chen
Directed By: Jérémie Battaglia
Produced By: Sylvia van Brabant

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Disclosure of Material Connection: YBLTV Writer / Reviewer Patrick Mackey, received a digital copy of Perfect for free from Perfect in consideration for a Product Review.

 

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