Black Swan

Fresh from the cinematic experience that was Black Swan, I am still reeling from what was perhaps the most psychologically tense and disturbing film I may have seen. Your first reaction has to be wow, not just its sheer intensity and magnitude but from still trying to figure out what was real and was not. I couldn’t help but feel that Aronofsky has pulled the rug from underneath our feet; lead down one path or perhaps serveral and then wondering at the end if it all could have been some twisted nightmare. Then again Aronofsky never really let’s us trust him, as is the issue when your mind is as twisted and paronoid as Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman). From the opening the sequence the ballet is exquisite and yet equally brutal; the choreography is beautiful and romantic, the dancing is distressing and excrutiating. I cringed several times and not just at bleeding toenails or ripped skin. There have been more awkward times in my life, but watching Portman indulge in self-pleasuring (there was much nervous laughter and one couple even stormed out during a steamier scene) whilst accompanied by my mum is definately up there. Along with watching Wedding Crashers with my nan. Anyway I’m digressing. It cannot be denied that Aronofsky knows how to make a film, every shot is constructed and every choice made with purpose. I especially liked the broken ballerina after Nina’s transformation. But then on greater reflection most of it you can’t help but admire. The casting was brilliant, Winona Ryder drawing on her Girl, Interrupted days and Vincent Cassell at his manipulative, seducitve best.
It is a dream, or maybe even a nightmare but you can’t help but be utterly absorbed and drawn into the perversity and peculiarity of it all. Portman is in every respect Nina; the way her face and body contorts, moves and expresses; she becomes both the white swan and black swan, as Leroy declares “its a hard fucking job” but she pulls it off magnificently.
Aronfosky’s ability to depict psychological deterioration remains as powerful as it was in Requiem. It is an enthralling and visceral experience.
P.s. Mila Kunis is also amazing and I LOVE Nina’s white dress at the party. Beautiful.

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