Friday, February 18, 2011

“BLACK SWAN” Movie Review. “Come, DANCE unto thy DARK WORLD.”


Sitting in the cinema appraising the ”BLACK SWAN” is like boarding a night train as it “choo-choos” its way into a long, dark tunnel.

We may not know where we are heading.

But we do know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel if we wait.

For now, the mood is decidedly grim. The tone foreboding. Throughout.

You can liken “BLACK SWAN” to a mesh of dark poetry blended into a piece of taut sinister, psychological drama.

It plagues, preys and gnaws on your mind, from start to end.

This one shall “will” you to utter despair, slowly but surely.

Yet, when the lights eventually go up and curtain calls are taken, “BLACK SWAN” will be remembered for being a deserving masterpiece in demented horror.

You picture NATALIE PORTMAN as she plays this fragile, forlorn ballerina who dances frantically in the dwindling spotlight, right deep into the complexity of our subconscious.

She lures us into her sinister dreams, and we follow hither.

That’s the beauty of film director DARREN ARONOFSKY’S BLACK SWAN.

We observe the slow burn and let the psychological breakdown of Nina, the lead character erode in our mindsets.

Until this utter reality begins to flap and twist like a hungry vulture, threatening to claw and consume.

You can barely tell the difference between the white swan persona (innocence) and the back swan’s (sensuality) and when you finally do, the end credits are already on the roll.

As PORTMAN’s screen character Nina loses her grip on the world around her, the feature morphs into a sort of high-toned horror film.

But the director settles it both ways: the elegance and the art film jextaposed with the chiaroscuro shots of ballerinas in spotlights, as well as the creepiness of the terror genre.

Off-screen there’s already, a resounding buzz and blast surrounding “BLACK SWAN”.

It’s reported that director DARREN ARONOFSKY is definitely looking at a certain Oscar nomination, whilst NATALIE PORTMAN is expected to be crowned the Best Actress queen.

French actor VINCENT CASSEL as the ballet director charms in a superb performance as ”a control freak, a true artist using sexuality to direct his dancers”.

Once-upon-a-time A-Listers, but now supporting actresses BARBARA HERSHEYas Nina’s overwhelming mother and WINONA RYDER as Beth, the forced-to-retire ballerina – BOTH lit up the screen with their powerful presence.

It’s great to see them giving the leads a run for their money. Welcome back gals.

The film opens on PORTMAN as a fragile ballerina in a prestigious New York company. She pursues her art, enabled by an overly protective mother (BARBARA HERSHEY) who gave up her own dancing career to become a parent.

Yet PORTMAN’s Nina yearns to show the world what she can do.

She gets her wish when the company’s imperious director (VINCENT CASSEL) casts her in a new production of Swan Lake: playing both the tragic Swan Queen and the villainous Black Swan.

She is told to explore her dark side so that she can better embody the dual role of the Swan Queen and the Black Swan.

This, combined with her concern over the ambitions of a new arrival at the company, Lily (KUNIS), pushes Nina towards breaking point.

It’s within the context of this paradox that a world of competitive ballet unleashes. A trapful of jealousies, devious schemes,bitchy backstabbing and the casting couch syndrome.

Nothing is ever perfect, much as you’d ever want.

Everything is stemmed from powerful emotions from the ballet right to the music.

Where the good and the evil intertwined.

“BLACK SWAN” offers a chilling twist in a world that’s cruelly short of perfection.

Perfection is art. Art is perfection.

Essentially this award winning film explores art in its purest form.

You feel Art, smell Art as Art is everywhere in “BLACK SWAN”. With a streak of gloom of the dark mind.

You can’t simply tear Art apart.


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