“I just want to be perfect.”
“And what happens when you’ve achieved perfection? Do you stop then? It’s our imperfections that keep us alive, motivating us to push further and further..?
In High Strung a group of young musicians and dancers strut their stuff in a fairly predictable and formulaic story about finding fulfillment in their art—and finding love along the way.
Ruby is a dancer who has just arrived in New York City to attend a prestigious conservatory. This is a new level of dance for her—but more, it is a new level of living—on her own in the big city. Johnny is a violinist making his way by busking in the subway. Their paths cross and so begins their journey to discovery of what it means to succeed—not only in the arts, but in life.
The film is built around a number of competitions—some formal, others more like duels. Violinists facing off to see who can outplay the other. Hip hop crews going back in forth trying to claim supremacy. Classical ballerinas trying to reach perfection. And a big final showdown of combined music and dance that could change the lives of Ruby and Johnny forever. There is also a bit of classism thrown in with the well-off looking down at Ruby and Johnny for their origins.
Of course, neither Ruby nor Johnny would be able to find success and fulfillment on their own. Even with each other, they still need others who support them and work with them to push them to new levels. They discover that it is not perfection that will bring them happiness, but the pursuit of perfection and the discovery that with the help of others we can do far more than we would ever do alone.