Black Swan: An unforgettable experience

Misha Khan

The general public may have mixed opinions about a ballet performance. The general male population will avoid going to one; whereas, the general female population will thoroughly enjoy going to the ballet. However, for director Darren Aronofsky ballet is more of a bleeding art, literally. In his highly acclaimed movie, “Black Swan” Aronofsky mixes a graceful dance genre with horror, absurdly dark themes.

“Swan” follows innocent Nina, played with complete passion and charm by Natalie Portman, who is crowned as the new swan queen. The lead in the play Swan Lake and she could not be more excited. The hard worker she is, Nina gives it her all. However, the company director Thomas, portrayed by Vincent Cassel, is not sure if Nina can also be the black swan. At one point in the movie he even asks her to “go home and touch yourself.” As she tries desperately to gain his praise and attention, Thomas’ eye wanders around to her rival dancer Lily, played by Mila Kunis. Most performers lose themselves in their art; however, Nina finds herself losing her entire mind in the coveted role as Swan Queen.

To become a ballerina requires years of training to overcome the fight with gravity, the art of gesture, and perhaps the deception of art over reality. Portman’s character Nina seems to have completely lost sense of the difference between illusion and fact. When Lily comes along, she confuses Nina even more and throughout the entire movie, she fights with herself and her mother, Erica (performed by Barbara Hershey). Erica used to be a dancer at one point but now lives with her daughter in a tiny apartment that more often feels like a cell rather than a home.

Aronofsky mixes the traditional backstage competitiveness with eerie psychological disturbances. Both actresses did a wonderful job, turning the movie into somewhat of a guilty pleasure keeping you hooked and guessing.

Portman and Kunis dedicated several months of training and vigorous workout regimes before and during filming. Both leading ladies dropped considerable weight and even suffered from broken limbs and dislocated shoulders. Nevertheless, all their hard work was completely worth it. Every little movement of theirs was carried out with extreme perfection and their performances, beauty and grace surely left the mass audiences charmed.

If you are looking for an unforgettable movie with a little bit of art, lust, beauty, revenge, and thrill, “Black Swan” is the perfect movie for you. Even if you aren’t looking for all that, the movie promises to be a good watch that will leave its audiences thinking “Wow that was just too damn out there.” Some of the best films of 2010 were not the ones with the exceptional 3D effects, but the ones with real actors that actually made the audience feel and move with their jaw- dropping performances.