Saturday, January 22, 2011

Black Swan | Directed by Darren Aronofsky | Screenplay by Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, John McLaughlin

For the past week or so I'd been so excited about seeing Black Swan at the cinema today. I watched both official trailers constantly in my raging anticipation for this award-winning, artistic film.

Nina (Natalie Portman) wants to have the role of the Swan Queen in her ballet company's new production of Swan Lake more than anything. But in order to get this role, she must portray both the White Swan and her evil twin, the Black Swan. Nina's personality and style of dance is clearly similar to the White Swan: Pure, innocent, careful, virginal. Therefore, depicting the Black Swan, who is seductive, wild, and dark, is a constant struggle. Lily (Mila Kunis) is exactly the opposite, and shows passion in her dancing, rather than focusing on perfection. As both women vie for the roll, Nina discovers her darker side, her inner Black Swan.

I'm not very sure where to begin, or what to say in this review. Black Swan is unlike anything else I've ever seen. It isn't something you can talk about, it's something you see. Otherwise, there is no hope for understanding its effect. Even an hour after the final scene ended, I was still in some sort of shock. Even then I still analyzed the film over and over again in my head, taking in all that had happened in this film.

Illusions were everywhere. Knowing the difference between what was real and what wasn't tended to be difficult, and that definately kept my interest. Nina basically goes crazy, and I was just as surprised as she was whenever she came to a realization or had an experience. And her mother is a bit frightening, to top it all off. Entertainment, to say the least. Nothing in this film ended up being horrifying, just extremely bizarre. In fact, Black Swan is the most bizarre film I've ever seen.

Of all the psychological thrillers ever made, this one has to be the most beautiful. The costumes are gorgeous, and the music and dancing is impeccable. This would not be done correctly without Natalie Portman. I knew beforehand that she's already won Best Actress for Black Swan at the Golden Globes and if I'm not mistaken, the Critic's Choice Awards, but now I can see why. Her portryal of Nina is perfect. She's so innocent and dedicated, yet she's totally losing her mind. Natalie captures this all flawlessly, making it so that I feel so sorry for Nina. It's like she never really grew up, as if her mother wanted her to be little forever. She tries so hard to be a prefect dancer in the midst of everything that's happening to her, between her mother freaking out and worrying about the competition for the role. Oftentimes I don't have pity for characters if they're weak and poorly brought-out, but Natalie Portman's performance was simply stunning.

Also, I applaud Natalie's dancing performance. (Ahem... the one towards the end of the film, to be exact... Perhaps I should've taken ballet lessons?) Dancing is great to watch, I've always felt that way. But never have I been so mezmerized by ballet before seeing Natalie Portman perform. I seriously got chills. Her grace and, well, even her wild facial expressions, made it one of the best parts of the entire film.

What's most interesting is that despite the fact that I loved this film, there were things that I wasn't fond of in it. Like, why does there have to be so many random masturbation scenes? And why are there so many Too-Much-Information-About-Your-Sex-Life scenes? Usually things that irk me throughout a film effects how I think of it as a whole when I watch films or read books, but in this case, I don't care. Somehow, they were all necesary to demonstrate a point.

No matter how amazing I may think it is, I realize not everyone will appriciate Black Swan, let that be your warning. Some may find the constant use of sex distasteful, and the general film too strange. If one goes to see this movie with no appriciation for ballet, I'm not so sure how they'd take it. I appriciate ballet and the oddest of art forms, so in my opinion, this film was immaculate.

Cheers to Natalie Portman, to Mila Kunis (for being a great supporting actress, despite I didn't see enough of her character in the film for me to say much else), and to Black Swan, for in all of it's uniqueness, it is the most bizarre masterpiece they've come up with.

5/5 Stars

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