Movie 5: Black Swan

Movie 5: Black Swan (2010)

Jan 22, 2011
Downloaded, streamed to Ps3

Nina (Portman) is a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her obsessive former ballerina mother Erica (Hershey) who exerts a suffocating control over her. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side - a recklessness that threatens to destroy her - Fox

This movie was directed by Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, π , Requiem for a Dream and The Fountain)
I've only seen π and The Wrestler so far. Pi blew my mind and we all know about the award winning Mickey Rourke perfomance in the latter.. I've had Requiem for a Dream on my laptop for over a year and haven't had a chance to check it out yet.. I've heard The Fountain is alright as well..

Black Swan is shot in a very raw manner just like The Wrestler. This time, it shows the behind-the-scenes of the ballet world. It gives a glimpse of the pains ballerinas go through for this art.. We see shots where the ballerinas bend and break their bodies for the sake of form and figure, how they mend their ballet shoes, how they spend hours in front of the mirror fixing their makeup, how they manage passing by all the creeps in city subways.. in short, how they devote their lives to perform..

So Portman is vying for the role of the lead in Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake."
If you're unfamiliar, here's the story:

"Virginal girl, pure and sweet, trapped in the body of a swan. She desires freedom but only true love can break the spell. Her wish is nearly granted in the form of a prince, but before he can declare his love her lustful twin, the black swan, tricks and seduces him. Devastated the white swan leaps of a cliff killing herself and, in death, finds freedom." (a line from the movie)

Portman's character, Nina is just right for the role. Nina is the perfectionist dancing most her life to please her mother. But innocent, frigid and sexually repressed which is not what the black swan represents.

Portman gives a great performance here. I was in awe how she showed her range and just nails it. She can be that innocent little girl and then she goes 180 becoming more daring.. So Nina transforms herself to be the Black Swan the director demands.. if she doesn't, Lily, (Mila Kunis) would be there to replace her.. Lily is more suited for the role, with her sex appeal and carefree attitude.. ( and sweet tat on her back)

Kunis delivers a level of depth in this film.. She really puts on a performance compared to her flat characters before..(I mostly know her from That 70's show and the voice of Meg in Family Guy)

Having the raw style of the Wrestler, this film however,  is more akin to the style of Pi and Requiem as Nina's transformation takes her on a psychological ride to become what she needs to be.. It's not a horror film but more of a film of discovery..  an opening of the mind..haha i don't know how to describe it. just watch it!!

The whole movie is like an opera/ballet show and the last act is where this film becomes great.. So Nina performs as the White Swan and transforms into the Black Swan..
No words, just movement and music..
I don't know how they shot the intricate dance sequences but youre right there on the stage with dozens of dancers all around the actors..
The lighting was fantastic, of course, they were on a stage where all the lights are suppsed to be, but as a photographer, I can see how they used lighting in tandem with the dance and music to give you each emotion they want the viewer to feel..
Finally the music just hits you with bringing you along with drama, suspense and in the end, triumph and peace..

Just like a magnificent ballet show, you feel all the ups and downs and in the end, there's nothing but applause for the work of art...

So I highly recommend this..
Of course, it has adult material, but all for the sake of the theme of the film..

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