Newest Review: ... the black swan, and Natalie is very convincing as an angelic figure that cannot break through. Which is where Mila Kunis comes in aptly... more
Black Swan (DVD)
Member Name: angelboouk
Black Swan (DVD)
Advantages: tense, dark, dancing, setting, characters, direction, storyline, ending
Disadvantages: some may not appreciate the additional content
Film Only Review
Released : 2010
Running Time : 108 minutes
Director : Darren Aronofsky
Rating : 15
Nina Sayers is a ballerina dancer who has been chosen to play the lead role of the White Swan in Swan Lake. It isn't plain sailing though. She has to contend with her controlling mother and also her rival Lily who wishes to take her place as the Black Swan. Nina is perfect for the role of the White Swan but must learn to take on the role of the darker Black Swan.
*Nina - Natalie Portman
*Lily - Mila Kunas
*Thomas Leroy - Vincent Cassel
*Erica Sayers - Barbara Hershey
*Beth Macintyre - Winona Ryder
Black Swan is currently available to purchase from Amazon priced at £5.44.
I first borrowed Black Swan from a friend and after watching it, I was adamant that I wanted my own copy. I was pleased to see it in my local Morrisons DVD department priced at just £3.00. It has definitely become one of my favourite, modern films and one of the best that I have watched recently. I am not a fan of films that are focussed around dancing but Black Swan is on a completely different scale.
Natalie Portman was definitely a smart choice for the role of Nina. At first, she comes across as being a very vunerable, shy girl who has been controlled by her mother (a former dancer). She is easily led and her character goes from strength to strength in this film due to being encouraged by Thomas Leroy (who is running the production) and through her twisted, unusual friendship with rival Lily. Having watched many of Portmans films, this is by far her best role in my opinion.
Lily, is the total opposite of Nina. A sexy, outgoing character who is played well by Mila Kunas. Nina isn't sure of Lily right from the start and it becomes clear that she wishes to take over the role of the Black Swan. From here on in, Nina changes her attitude and becomes more confident but this isn't all down to her desire for this role. She reaches out to her dark side which comes through perfectly in this film.
The other main characters do add a lot to the film. Thomas is your typical, pushy director. Erica (the mother) is a deranged, possessive lady who can see that something terrible is taking over her quiet daughter. Beth (Ryder) plays a minor role but it is still important. She is being replaced by younger Nina. The supporting actors include a range of professional dancers who all add to the film beautifully.
The plot of Black Swan is excellent and executed perfectly in my opinion. There is a lot of supsense built through the characters. A lot of the film is filmed in the theatre as you would expect. The setting is perfect. I found the film to be well paced for a pyschological horror. There is a lot of intense scenes in the build up to the actual main performance. There is violence, sexual content (including a rather hot lesbian scene) and a lot of rather sickening, difficult to watch scenes involving violence.
The transformation from the White Swan to the Black Swan is amazing if a little slow. The character development is exceedingly well played and I found myself becoming very engrossed in this film. It is an incredibly dark, engaging film which isn't all about a pretty ballerina. It runs much deeper. I loved watching the friendship between Nina and Lily develop. It wasn't your typical, friendly encounter. It was quite sinister and at times, erotic and unexpected. It is very disturbing and there is a fine line created between what is real and what isn't. There is generous use of special effects in this film and they are very well executed.
Other aspects of this film really make it outstanding. As well as some stunning dancing techniques and beautiful costumes/make up, the music used in this film is very relevant. The Tchaikovsky music is perfectly placed and certainly increases the tension within the film. The ending of Black Swan was outstanding. As you would expect, the show must go on and there is a satisfying, dramatic climax. The build up to the ending is visually stunning and is carried out well due to wonderful acting and direction. I found myself being very satisfied by the ending but rather sad for many reasons.
I absolutely love this film. The acting is outstanding and I love witnessing the dark, sinister side of the film. The role of Nina is spectacular and the way her character changed through this film was what had me gripped. It didn't disappoint and is one of the best pyschological horrors as it is so beautifully filmed. There were scenes that shocked me and scared me quite a bit and that is exactly what I want from a film like this.
There is a generous amount of violence, blood and sexual scenes which are very intense at times and not for the faint hearted or to watch with younger children. The 15 rating is quite low in my opinion given the content of Black Swan. This type of film won't be to everyones tastes but if you aren't offended by the content I have mentioned then I would give it a watch.
Thanks for reading :)
Summary: one of my favourite films