“The Swan” (2023) | A Short Film by Wes Anderson on Netflix

The Swan
Martin Cid
Martin Cid

The Swan is part of a collection of four short films released on Netflix on September 2023 based on Roald Dahld‘s short stories (the other are “The Rat Catcher”, “Poison“, and “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar“).

Ralph Fiennes plays the role of Roald Dahl in one of his most beautiful and dark stories.


A man tells how, when he was a child, some hooligans tied him up on the railroad tracks. After that, and not content with their first exploit, they see a swan in a nest.

About “The Swan”

Yesterday we were discussing Wes Anderson’s condition, obsession, extravagance, or genius for imposing his peculiar, extravagant, and brilliant style above the story. “The Swan” is a clear example of this: a dark, cruel, and ultimately wonderful story turned into a short film by the American director.

This time, the execution is simpler, less extravagant in aesthetics, and more focused on Roald Dahl’s words, in an absolutely marvelous tale that he wrote for adults, now brought to us by Netflix and Wes Anderson in the form of four adaptations. Yes, perhaps not everyone on this planet is familiar with Wes Anderson’s genius, so this is another great opportunity to discover it in a medium-length film that is more of the director than an adaptation of the story. It’s there with its grandeur, but it doesn’t seem to fit with the director’s pompous style.

Did we expect something else? We appreciate creative freedom and the director’s supreme obsession with repeating himself. Everyone has the right to their own opinion, and in the end, it is the audience that has the final say.

However, personally, we do not consider “The Swan” to be one of Anderson’s best works, and we certainly do not agree with the style used for the adaptation.

Our opinion:

We miss Roald Dahl in a story based on Roald Dahl.


Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson

Wesley Wales Anderson (born May 1, 1969) is an American filmmaker. His films are known for their symmetry, eccentricity and distinctive visual and narrative styles, and he is cited by some critics as a modern-day example of the auteur. Three of his films, The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Moonrise Kingdom (2012), and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) appeared in BBC Culture’s 2016 poll of the greatest films since 2000. Read more

The Cast

Rupert Friend
Rupert Friend

Rupert Friend, born on October 1, 1981, is an accomplished English film actor. He has gained recognition for his notable performances in various films, including his portrayal of Mr. Wickham in the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice, Lieutenant Kurt Kotler in the 2008 film The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and Prince Albert in the 2009 film The Young Victoria.

Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes. Depostiphotos

Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, born on December 22, 1962, is an accomplished English actor, film producer, and director. He has been a dedicated ambassador for UNICEF UK since 1999. Fiennes initially gained recognition for his exceptional performances on stage at the Royal National Theater, where he showcased his talent as a Shakespearean actor. He made his debut in the film industry by portraying Heathcliff in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. Read more

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