Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan”

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Greta Fedaraviciute

Just after few days Natalie Portman – the star of “Black Swan” had won Golden Globe Award as the best actress – the newest Darren Aronofsky’s hit finally came to the cinemas of Glasgow. Some might say it’s a coincidence, but we would see it as a sign not to miss it.

It is said that when ordinary girls fight over men, ballerinas fight over parts. That’s exactly what’s happening in the “Black Swan” or at least inside the head of Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) – “the most dedicated dancer in the world”.
After years of practice Nina finally gets the role of her dreams. Artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) casts her for the lead role in the “Black Swan”, but at the same time he keeps questioning her ability to play it. The trick is that prima ballerina has to incorporate both – the innocent virginal White Swan and seductive manipulative Black Swan. Nina is perfect for White Swan, but too innocent and technical for the black one. “You have to loose up” – says the director and prescribes masturbation for homework. But at her claustrophobic apartment Nina has little freedom or privacy. She lives with overbearing mother, ex-dancer who gave up the career because of pregnancy, and so seeks Nina to complete her own unfulfilled ambitions.

As it was not enough, Thomas recruits new ballerina Lilly (Mila Kunis) as Nina’s double. Not surprisingly, Lilly is like Nina’s dark twin – perfect Black Swan. That forces Nina into mental brake down. The movie turns into surreal horror story and it’s hard to tell the difference between reality and paranoid delusions where reflections in the mirror look back at you.

The narrative of the “Black Swan” is based on all kinds of contrast – black vs white, perfection vs failure, saint vs evil and the boundaries that have to be overcome to get to the other side. Dreamlike atmosphere is extremely powerful and fueled with beautifully made body horror moments of skin pealing off and body literally falling apart.

Critiques have a joke that the only ones who don’t like “Black Swan” are ballet dancers, because all they can see are faults of actresses who are not professional dancers. Actually, those who really appreciate ballet should keep in mind that Aranofsky doesn’t. He has used this beautiful visual theme as background only and there is not much of dancing in the movie. As film critic A. O. Scott said: “Black Swan is no more about the behavior of ballerinas than, “Swan Lake” is about the habits of birds.” So, be ready for some wicket frights rather then glossary of ballet.

In a word: surreal story you don’t want to miss, as it is something everyone is going to talk about for a while.

Watch the trailer on Youtube


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