Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Black Swan.

Black Swan movie poster.

A funny factoid for you (about me though) is that when I was in the cinema I was just sitting there waiting for the film to start and then a woman came in with two little girls. Now, my panic set in that I was in the wrong cinema screen and that I may have been missing this film but instead it turns out she came into the wrong film. I started laughing after she asked us what's on in here and when I told her "Black Swan" her reply was "oh my God! I saw this film the other day, can you imagine if they saw this?" and I hadn't seen it but those kids would have been scarred by numerous amount of scenes. As she left the advert for No Strings Attached came on and the word "sex" came up quite a lot before she'd left. That made me think again that Natalie Portman has gone from a potentially Oscar winning performance to a terribly average RomCom with Ashton Kutcher and then a stoner comedy (which seems hilarious) with Danny McBride and James Franco so well done to her for not being typecasted and I hope she maintains this level of variety because she's a great actress.

Well, I suppose I'm assumed to jump on the band-wagon with weirdly inept descriptions such as "hauntingly beautiful" but I won't. I did enjoy the film and I thought it was amazing but the whole description of it being "hauntingly beautiful" is completely inadequate. The only thing worse than that is getting a ballet dancer to review the film which numerous people have done. Yes, it's about a ballet dancer and is to do with ballet but it's not the main point of the film. I don't understand why people seem to have that idea.

A ballet dancer wins the lead in "Swan Lake" and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan - Princess Odette - but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile the Black Swan, daughter of an evil magician.

It's an intelligent and original film by taking the storyline of a famous ballet and using the symbolism of that story to highlight a dissection of a schizophrenic who's under stress and goes through violent changes. I don't want to spoil anything so I'll try to keep information to a minimum. If you haven't seen it yet or you're going to see it again, you should look out for all the symbolism which is in this film. There's a black swan in the background of Nina's (Natalie Portman) room and numerous references to the differences of good and evil. It's very clever, in all fairness to Darren Aronofsky.

Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel. Directed by Darren Aronofsky.

In fairness to this film, it's pretty jumpy. I'm not going to lie and pretend I'm all manly and don't get scared by films because I jump quite easily, even when I expect something. It's weird but it doesn't mean I get too scared to watch, I just jump at scenes. What I mean is, this psychological thriller is actually quite scary at parts. Not only because of bits which are made to make you jump but the thought of losing your own mind is a frightening concept if it's anything like this. I find myself checking reflective surfaces, hoping that the reflection doesn't differ from what I'm doing. I suppose the frightening realism in this film is possibly the most scary of all. I don't want to lose my mind, if I'm honest.

Natalie Portman is incredible at playing both sides of her character and Mila Kunis is possibly snubbed for an Oscar considering her performance is excellent. They make it believable, and I don't mean that most films aren't believable, but I mean that I feel like I'm fully immersed in the storyline and actually just watching their life as it unfolds in a horrifically, tragic "can't look away" way. It's an extended car crash. The direction is pretty well-done but at times it's too shaky and irritating and it's a typical Aronofsky piece with a lot of cuts. Despite being a film about a woman becoming a lunatic it's all very fluid, smooth and beautiful. It's a sort of smooth, organised chaos as it disrupts and then erupts in an explosion of emotion.

The soundtrack of this film is really amazing and I think I could listen to it in my spare time, quite a lot. I do have one problem with the film and this is a bit...

SPOILER ALERT

...ambiguous. What I mean is that it's a sort of "draw your own conclusion" film which are clever but in this, it seems like it was done lazily. I mean, there is no definitive answer to any one scene because it doesn't draw one conclusion. It seems as if they couldn't decide on what they'd like to define reality and her mind as it is all in her (Nina) perspective. That's one of my only complaints because without this ambiguity and without a definitive answer it's annoying me a little because I'd rather know what happened instead of a "you decide." I'm not the director nor am I the writer and least of all am I the character that is portrayed. It's been known to annoy me just like Shutter Island and the people who claimed to know exactly what was going on from the beginning even though there's no definitive answer; Inception and "did it or didn't it wobble? Dream or not?" even though that did wobble and it wasn't a dream and so on. I can't think of any more examples at the moment.

My verdict is it's a very good film and very well done but it's a tiny bit annoying at the same time. I'd rate it 9/10. Now, go see it and don't wait for the DVD release because it's amazing in the cinema with its soundtrack.