Black Swan Movie Review

Black Swan Movie Review


If not for the horror movie aspect of this upcoming movie, this film might make sense. But with the whole psychodrama craziness of that aspect of this movie on the new movies list, much of The Black Swan becomes absurd.

The "Black Swan" may be a box office movie success anyway. Part of its appeal lies in how absolutely ridiculous it is to mix mental illness and the rigors of the ballet. The Black swan is full of imagery and there’s a fierce competition between ballerinas that will keep the viewer on the edge of his or her seat.

Director Darren Arnofsky’s film will remind movie goers of his latest film, The Wrestler. The wrestler himself has to get into the ring night after night because he is a wrestler: that’s his identity. It’s the same thing with Nina, played by Natalie Portman. She drags herself out of bed in the morning to go to the studio and dance because that’s her identity. She’s a dancer.

Right from the beginning of the movie you sense that Nina might be on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Barbara Hershey, another member of this movies cast, plays Nina’s mother. Arnofsky has made sure that she’s shot in the worst possible way – poor makeup, a bad hairstyle, unflattering lighting – and she has an unpleasant way of hovering over her daughter. Unfortunately Nina has some unpleasant habits of her own like scratching herself until she draws blood. There are also other unsavory parts of the movie like broken bones and wounds and stitches. The thing is, you never know what’s real and what’s a figment of Nina’s imagination.

Nina is a member of a New York Ballet Company and she is chosen to play a role of both a black and a white swan. Thomas Cassel does a good job as the ballet company’s director and his character intends to remake “Swan Lake.” Then he decides that Nina can’t play both parts and brings in a dancer from the West Coast, Lily, played by Mia Kunis. Lily and Nina are soon enemies.

Another ballerina, Beth, played by Winona Ryder, who has been dropped from the position of prima ballerina, skulks around the edges of the action, oozing mental disintegration, until she is finally hit by a car. As this is going on, Cassel’s character is driving Nina towards the edge, wanting her to lose herself in darkness, which she is doing in real life and the life of the ballet.

Natalie Portman is great in this new movie release. She’s not a dancer but has dance experience and her experience is obvious in the dance scenes as well as the rehearsal scenes. Mia Kounis is a good foil for Portman’s character.

Although absurd, many people will enjoy this movie for Natalie Portman’s performance.


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