Black Swan

Black Swan is a twisted tale of a ballerina struggling to become a star as she is also struggling to keep her sanity. It stars Natalie Portman as a fragile ballerina who wants to be perfect, Vincent Cassel as the manipulative play director who wants the best from his performers, and Mila Kunis as the understudy that is feared by Natalie Portman, because she might replace her.

Black Swan is directed by Darren Aronofsky and he took a very interesting approach into the normally colorful and beautiful world of ballet. Aronofsky guides you through a dark and twisted labyrinth, with many twists and turns and then leaves you at the dark deep center all alone and you have to find your own way out. The film keeps you on you feet guessing what will happen next. It is easy to say that Black Swan makes David Lynch look perfectly sane.

You are viewing the world of Black Swan through the eye’s of Natalie Portman’s character. So as the stress gets to her and she starts breaking down, the world around her starts breaking down. She starts suffering from many schizophrenic delusions that end up blurring boundaries of reality and her own chaotic mind. So both her and the audience have to keep questioning what is real and fake.

The film uses a monochromatic tone of black and white. The light and the dark obviously means good vs evil, but everything in Black Swan has a deeper complex symbolism. Down to the very placement of each character and object within the frame. It would take many viewings to catch most of the hidden symbolism and figure out their true meaning.

Black Swans took an interesting approach to the actual film making. They used different types of cameras to capture each scene to give them their own different look and feel. For some scenes they use small 16 mm film, which is not normally used for full length feature films. It is more often used for student films, or documentaries because of the cheaper lower quality. Instead of using a more common and larger film stock, the 16mm when blown up would give a grainier and darker tone to the scene, which works perfectly for this film. They also used a Canon 7D, a Canon 5D, and a Canon 1D to capture some scenes. All three are not actually video cameras but actually DSLR still photo cameras that are mainly used by professional photographers, but they all happen to have the ability to shoot full HD video.

Natalie Portman is nominated for Best Actress and she will easily win. Not only is her performance perfect, but she supports the entire film herself. Since the world around her is effected by her state of mind, it feels as if everyone and every scene is a part of her character and performance. For the Academy Awards, the film is also nominated for are Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Director and Best Picture. Overall I enjoyed Black Swan.

4 out of 5 stars.