Black Swan (2010)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Left me confused.

This film was selected from ‘The 250’

I’m a fan of Natalie Portman, and I always had a plan to watch Black Swan, but I never got around to actually doing it for whatever reason. It seemed like a strange movie that ultimately wouldn’t hold my attention for long, but I can easily say that’s incorrect. This is one of the most confusing, interesting, mind-altering psychological thrillers I think I’ve seen in a long time, it actually temporarily had me interested in something ballet-related. I just hope I can put my thoughts about the film down in a review.

Her name is Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), and she is a ballerina. She’s about to put on the biggest performance of her career, let alone life, and that has her all messed up in the head. The performance is in Swan Lake, and she is playing the role of both the white and black swan. Problem is, she is great as the white swan in all of her innocence, but in order to fulfill the role as Black Swan, she must look inside herself and retrieve her inner seductive nature. The stresses of the job have been making her see and hear things to the point where…she can’t trust anything she experiences.

How do I explain what I felt while watching Black Swan? That’s a good question. At first, I was repulsed by pretty much all of the shots of these women’s feet. You never think about the negative aftermath of spending so much time on your tip toes until you see this. Then she starts…ripping parts of her body apart…and I don’t care if it’s all in her head or in real life, the way those scenes are presented somehow makes Saw look like child’s play.

The acting in this movie was something else. Natalie Portman can surely act, but we’re not used to seeing her like this. Not only for her ability to perform a transforming personality, but also just her existence in a psychological thriller – it’s really impressive. I don’t know if I really, truly cared about Mila Kunis’s role, but she did a fine job as well. I think apart from the acting and repulsive scenes, I was probably most intrigued by how confusing the movie made me feel. Even though I  more or less could accurately guess what was going on, the way it was shot and put together was quite a spectacle, if you don’t mind me saying. The use of music, sound, costume design, and the art of creating a suspenseful pace was all fine-tuned to near perfection.

I’m afraid, however, that the overbearing tone and basic feel of the film may be a bit too much for some viewers. It is pretty dark and supremely weird, and that really throws a number of people off…and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people didn’t like the movie. I personally did, and I would personally buy it, but the strange quality this film brings may be a turn-off to others.

The Good:

Black Swan is one of those movies that’s more or less a happy surprise. It looks weird and it deals with a variation of dance that guys don’t care about at all…well…usually, anyways. It takes that and somehow turned into something a guy (or gal) wouldn’t mind seeing. It has a very effective use of suspense, mystery, and random confusing elements that’ll keep you guessing.

The Bad:

At it’s heart, it may simply be too much for some viewers.


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