You might be caught off guard with Black Swan.
Not that it’s a bad thing. I mean, it’s not a horror movie in the slightest – but it certainly has some tense moments. An uncomfortable tense, gross heebee geebee tense, if you know what I mean.
This surprisingly twisted film focuses on Nina (Natalie Portman), a ballet dancer working as the lead of Swan Lake at a high-end ballet company in New York City. The lead role requires Nina to dance as the white swan, in addition to it’s counterpart the black swan. The role as both swans is considered challenging, and Nina has been waiting for this opportunity for many years.
She steps up and challenges for the role, running into all sorts of problems that any self-conscious ballet dancer would. Jealousy, paranoia, anxiety – maybe a bit of insanity. It’s bizarre, creepy, but strangely entertaining. Mila Kunis plays Lilly, a new dancer in the production looking to make a name for herself. Nina and Lilly’s relationship builds into a twisted rivalry, with Nina’s paranoia driving her into insanity.
French actor Vincent Cassel plays Thomas Leroy, the sexually charged director of the production company. He pushes Portman’s character to become the seductive Black Swan, challenging her to be more natural and convincing with her work. He makes frequent sexual advances towards Portman’s character. She attempts to focus on her work, and the challenge ahead with her role in Swan Lake.
Nina has the weight of the world on her shoulders – along with her Mother (Barbara Hershey) breathing down her neck. Their relationship between the two is complicated, and Nina is constantly reminded that she is succeeding because of the choices her mother made. Nina breaks down, and is sent into a spiral of rage and hallucinations. The ending of this film is dark, spectacular, and pretty damn exciting. The whole film comes to a head with Nina’s final dance as the black swan, then the suicide of the white swan.
Advertised as a psychological thriller – Black Swan gives audience an incredibly interesting look into the life of ballet and professional dancing. How accurate it really is, it’s hard to say. But for anyone considering checking this movie out should just sit back and enjoy the ride. The film builds off themes of perfection, as well as self-reflection with mirrors. Portman’s character is constantly staring back at herself in a mirror, looking to improve her dance and herself.
Director Darren Aronofsky will be seeing high praise for this film which starts off slow, but ends up living to its billing as a psychological thriller. This film isn’t exactly a good date movie, and is better geared towards audiences looking for a dark and deep movie experience. You’ll be talking about it for days.
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