A committed dancer struggles to maintain her sanity after winning the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake".A committed dancer struggles to maintain her sanity after winning the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake".A committed dancer struggles to maintain her sanity after winning the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake".
Albeit one with cracks. While the film succeeds as a character study, with a compelling lead character, there are some occasional logic and originality lapses, not in the script though as the script is very original that still holds the level of intensity in the slower parts, and with exception of Nina and perhaps Lily some of the characters could have done with more depth.
Those flaws aside, I loved it. But I can understand why people mayn't like it, I especially have a good friend who found it ham-fisted and found it left a bad taste in her mouth, it is often very adult and graphic with some sexual content. Anyone expecting Swan Lake are better off finding a video production or buying a ticket to somewhere like the Royal Ballet, this is not Swan Lake but a melodramatic and psychological character study revolving around a ballerina and the production of that particular ballet.
I remember reading that Darcy Bussell(who I respect) criticised the movie for an inaccurate portrayal of ballerinas or somewhat. I am not saying she is wrong, but I think it depends on the ballerina.
Even with any problems the film has, it is beautiful, tragic, haunting and nightmarish not to mention somewhat thought-provoking. The camera work with its contrasting black and whites to create contrasting moods is great, complete with stunning costumes, scenery and sets. The choreography is good and you do feel the sweat that the performers exude when performing, but I would have liked more close-ups of it perhaps.
The music is haunting and melancholic and the snippets of the Tchaikovsky ballet that you hear throughout are a delight to hear, but again it could have been more, and the finale is dark and exhilarating. The acting is mostly very good. Vincent Cassel is appropriately slimy, Barbara Hershey is terrific as the controlling mother and Mila Kunis is surprisingly wonderful in her meatiest role yet. But what made Black Swan are Darren Aranofsky's bravura direction and the mesmerising titular performance of Natalie Portman.
In conclusion, a very good film. 9/10 Bethany Cox
- Apr 13, 2011