Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Movie Review: Black Swan

After being presented with a wave of mediocre to downright ridiculous offerings such as: Eat Pray Love, I Hate Valentine's Day, The Backup Plan and several Nicholas Cage contributions - just to name a few - the movie Black Swan literally blew me away.

It is an emotional thriller and psychodrama of the most intense kind. One review said it was "Fantastically deranged at all times............ a glittering, crackling, outrageously pickable scab of a film". The film grips you from the very first scene with its hideously close photography and never lets you go.

It takes you on a journey through the twisted and fragile ill mind of a young girl who is picked for the role of a lifetime - the Queen Swan in the ballet Swan Lake. Faced with the monumental task of playing the Black Swan - the dark side of role - and being such as vulnerable, naive little ninny who lets her overbearing and controlling mother dictate every aspect of her life, the task seems almost too much for her. As she breaks down emotional and mental barriers in her life, she begins making progress during rehearsals but at the cost of her sanity.

Her relationship with her mother is twisted and wrong and it seems to only get worse as she does better - and worse (in her mind). That whole business with her mother is confusing and leaves a lasting impression, unfortunately. Her stupid bedroom filled with cute stuffies is in itself bordering on child abuse - since Nina the ballerina is in her 20's. You can tell from the way her mother treats her that she not only hangs all her hopes and unaccomplished dreams on her little girl, but also works double duty to try to infantilise her in a severly creapy way.

The dancing, while vital to the story and an interpretation of everything you see, is unbelievably beautiful but almost secondary to the storyline. When you finally get to see her dance the White and Black Swan it's amazing. A take your breath away, give you goosebumps, awestruck moment in the film.

A good movie, to be sure, and worth every penny. It gave me a whole new respect for Natalie Portman as an actor and a person. The kind of commitment it takes to play the role the way she did is beyond my scope of understanding. I hope she wins the Oscar. In my opinion, she's the only one in the running. Watching Natalie Portman transform and morph into what is essentially a "creature" is terrifying and downright scary - which is fascinating and thrilling.

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