Black Swan (Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis) : Movie Review
Black Swan was originally written as part of Darren Aronofsky’s Oscar winner The Wrestler, essentially as the graceful yin to the rough and bloody yang of Mickey Rourke’s role as a down-and-out has been.
Two lives, world’s apart, but inescapably similar.
Of course, both stories in the one film would have resulted in a Peter Jackson style 5 hour epic. Thankfully, both stories were then developed as separate films – what results are two of the most impressive character driven films of all time.
Black Swan stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis and follows the story of Nina (Portman), a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with perfection.
Upon landing the lead role in Swan Lake, Nina’s life is turned upside down thanks to both the incredible pressure of the role as well as the presence of the sexy and elusive Mila Kunis.
There is also a healthy dose of paranoia.
Despite using every University Film Student trick in the book (mysterious mirrors and multiple personalities), it’s not until the final credits of Black Swan roll that you realise that you haven’t been able to breath since the opening credits.
While The Wrestler purposefully meandered to it’s eventual melancholic crescendo (realistic, without bells and whistles), Black Swan bleeds intensity in it’s characters pursuit of perfection.
It’s by no means subtle, but it’s impact will stay with you long after the the cinema lights have gone up.
Darren Aronofsky’s reliance on unflinching graphic sexuality (the type that made his cult hit Requiem For A Dream so disturbingly memorable) is once again present – although entirely necessary – but it makes you wonder what acts of sexual depravity we can expect from his upcoming X-Men Wolverine sequel [Read About That Here].
Natalie Portman’s performance is a culmination of her years playing the eternally introverted and wilted lilley. But just like her character, this star making role allows her to flourish into a new era of sexuality and colour [As displayed in the upcoming Your Highness].
Wonderfully shot and utterly engaging, Black Swan is as graceful as a film exploring the wicked nature of narcissism will ever be.
Just imagine Black Swan and The Wrestler stayed as the one film – instead of two brilliant films, we may have very well been witness to a genuine, unparalleled classic.
WATCH OUT FOR | RATING : 4.5 out of 5