There seems to be so much pressure put on everyone in Ballet. You have to stay thin, you have to stay fit, and you have to be within the proportions that the ballet director wants. Children at a very young age are heartbroken when they find out that due to limitations beyond their own control they just don’t fit the requirements of ballet. Imagine meeting them, and having to perform for them. Would you do anything you could to make it big in what you love the most?
Directed by David Aronofsky, Black Swan tells the story of a ballet dancer called Nina Savers (Natalie Portman) who achieves greatness in the field of ballet. She desperately tries to impress the head of the ballet group Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) and tries to earn the role of the White Swan in the company’s production of Swan Lake. While Thomas can see that Nina has what it takes to play the innocent, virginal white swan, he has doubts that she can play the seductress black swan.
Eventually earning the part of the white swan, Nina must somehow find it in herself to let out the character of the black swan. She finds herself getting ever so closer to her dark self and that of the black swan.
I was very impressed by the story here. How far would you go to connect with a character that is so far different than that of your own self? Nina finds herself doing drugs, connecting with people that clearly are out for themselves and her journey towards darkness is quite compelling.
The acting is superb. Natalie Portman puts in a convincing performance as a ballet dancer that wants to achieve greatness and will do just about anything to do so. She convincingly plays an innocent girl, but also is able to pull off the role as that of a woman who will do anything to achieve what she wants. Mila Kunis who plays Lily, a rival ballet dancer is very good as the true seductress out for the role Natalie Portman’s character has.
I’ve seen Vincent Cassel in a lot of movies and I think he’s highly underrated as an actor. If you look at his resume you’ll notice that he has a very diverse resume and can play both the villain, and the good guy. He puts in a great performance here and I hope to be seeing more of him.
David Aronofsky is known for creating films that are pretty much a love it or hate it kind of movie. This movie is no different. It’s not a pleasant story by any means. It’s about a girl discovering her darkness and her fall from the character of the white swan into that of the black swan. The imagery he uses is fantastic and I hope that this film gets recognized for it. I haven’t liked some of his previous films, but this one I definitely do.
When you watch this movie ask yourself what you would do to achieve something that you loved. Would you find yourself becoming the character that you’re playing? In order to truly lose yourself in the role, you have to search within yourself to find the qualities that the character has. But, you can easily become lost within that character and the person you were can slip away. Black Swan is a great film that shows just that.
FINAL GRADE: A â€“
Reel Film News Movie Review by Bill Ayres