Monday, 23 July 2012

Black Swan



There wasn't that much hype surrounding "Black Swan", which is why I hadn't heard of it until recently; when it got nominated for all the awards. It's kind of a good thing, I guess. Hype isn't always helpful, as it can leave you disappointed if a film doesn't live up to itself. "Black Swan", without the tonnes of hype, lives up to itself, and manages to be an absolute masterpiece. 

"Black Swan" follows the career of promising ballerina Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman). She has been in training, and has now been offered the best job she can imagine; portraying the Swan Queen in a production of Swan Lake. However, when a back-up, Lily (Mila Kunis), arrives Nina discovers a dark side to herself, and begins to suffer from increasingly regular hallucinations. This worsens due to her caring but overbearing mother (Barbara Hershey) attempting to stop Nina from performing. 

Without question, the best aspect of "Black Swan" is its dark, creepy and melodramatic tone. This keeps the nearly 2 hour film fresh, and your attention won't divert. The beginning of the film nicely sets the plot out for us, and then suddenly plunges into the dark depths waiting at the finale of the film. 

As I'm sure you're aware, Natalie Portman has won/been nominated for pretty much every Best Actress award out there. I can definitely see why. She throws herself into the role, and pulls off every scene perfectly. Her supporting star, Mila Kunis is almost equally as engaging, and the pair work very well together, despite them being cautious of each other in the film. 

This film is a 15 rating for a reason, I'm telling you. There's the intensity of it, a good deal of blood and violence a HUGE lesbian sex scene and some pretty cover-your-eyes moments. For example, (MINOR SPOILER) there is one scene where Nina is in her room and, after previously arguing with her anxious mother, Nina's legs crack loudly and force themselves into the shape of a swan's. The music becomes suddenly loud, and it's a jump-out-of-your-seat moment for sure. 

(SPOILER OVER) 

The score for "Black Swan" is superb. Each piece swiftly glides from dramatic and loud to peaceful and quiet, and it all adds to the intensity and creepiness of the film. The last 10 minutes solidly being the performance of Swan Lake, the music is a rollercoaster but it suits the screenplay and gives the whole nature of the film a terrific effect. 

Darren Aronofsky clearly knows what he's doing with a film like this, and has added little aspects that you may overlook when viewing the film, but when you think back, you can notice, and they do have a huge impact on the effect of the film. One example would be that the majority of the characters in the film wear white and/or black clothes, reflecting the theme of Swan Lake. A second addition is that every scene involves Nina. We don't see people talking about her behind her back; we don't see anything that she doesn't. This means we feel the impact that her hallucinations have on her, and the result of this is heartbreaking towards the films dramatic and astonishingly intense finale. 

To Summarise: Heavily, but effectively, relying on it's dark, creepy tone, "Black Swan" is a wonderfully acted, well produced and skillfully directed masterpiece.


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