February 22, 2011
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Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Mark Heyman/Andres Heinz/John McLaughlin
Producers: Scott Franklin/Mike Medavoy/Arnold Messer/Brian Oliver
Starring: Natalie Portman/Mila Kunis/Vincent Cassel/Barbara Hershey
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 108 minutes
Some people may look at its poster or watch its trailer and think that it’s not for them because it features ballet and would pass it off as a dance movie. I say to these people that, while the subject does focus on ballet, it is so much more and manages to tackle the tough subjects of self-harm, sexuality and pressure. Black Swan is a beautiful and courageous movie through and through and Natalie Portman’s performance was simply elegant and compelling to watch. Nina is a passionate ballerina who wants nothing more than to be the lead in her ballet studio’s production of Swan Lake, which has a twist; the star would play both the Black and the White Swan. When director Thomas decides to replace Beth in Swan Lake, Nina sees this as her chance to be in the spotlight. However, another young and brilliant dancer, Lily, wants the part too and Thomas is very impressed with her. Nina sees Lily as an obstacle in the way of her dream and pretty soon, their friendship turns bitter and twisted as neither will give up until they win their dream role. Black Swan had a compelling story and the way it was told was just simply magnificent and in such great detail as we see Nina’s struggle to find herself and the stress and pressure of her role changing her before our eyes. Darren Aronofsky does a fantastic job in directing what could be called a psychological masterpiece.
Natalie Portman was simply terrific as the troubled ballerina Nina, who sees her life spiralling slowly out of control in front of her. It’s evident to see why Natalie Portman has been nominated for awards because her performance was perfect and couldn’t have been any better. Her dance performances in Black Swan were just incredible to watch and was filled with such passion and emotion. Mila Kunis was also terrific as Nina’s rival, Lily and was also perfect for the role. It was intriguing to see Nina and Lily interact with each other as we see Nina in a whole new light whenever she was with Lily and we saw a more darker side to her personality. Black Swan’s cast did a marvellous job in the acting department as there was not one actor or actress at fault. All of them did a brilliant job in drawing you into the movie with their performances, although the stunning story and the direction also captivated you. The characters were very compelling as their personalities change when interacting with different characters. Every one of them had different dimensions to their personalities, even the less important characters, which shows you the cast and crew clearly gave a lot of love and paid a lot of attention. Overall, if you want to see a movie which will draw you in from the first minute all the way through to the end, then I would suggest you see this movie.
Black Swan has been called a psychological thriller but I would say that this is more of a horror movie than it is a thriller one. There are a few scenes in the movie which are a little disturbing and it makes you wonder what you have just seen. It can also be shocking in a few places as we go through Nina’s state of mind, thought and emotion. I would say that this is one of those true horrors that doesn’t need jumpy or violent and gory scenes to shock the viewer. The last twenty-to-forty minutes of Black Swan is just marvellous and the music itself fitted the movie perfectly. Black Swan has the perfect ending and it couldn’t have been any better if the cast or crew tried. Truly a masterpiece in so many ways, Black Swan deserves a lot of praise and a lot of recognition as everything was just simply brilliant.