Written by Thuy Ong
Black Swan: Rated MA
Starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel
Black Swan is a tumultuous look into the intrinsic relationship between insanity and perfection where director, Darren Aronofsky, creates an intoxicating blend of dark sensual dramatics coupled with the severity and perfectionism of ballet. Natalie Portman stars as Nina Sayers; a young ballet dancer in New York City who wins the role of the Swan Queen in her company’s production of Swan Lake. However, she is only the embodiment of the white swan and the meticulous director, Thomas Leroy, wishes for a ballerina to dance both the Black and the White Swan. Transcending the genre between psychological horror and thriller Aronofsky’s piece identifies with the dualism of human nature and its innate possibility for destructiveness.
Delving into Sayers’ mind reveals the fragility and innocence of her nature; leading her to question her sanity when another dancer, Lily, appears as a rival and alternate, the Black Swan.
Sayer’s descent into the caustic and sensual Black Swan is fused with motifs of abrasions on her back, horror-ridden fantasies of the production’s antagonist, Rothbart, and self inflicted injury. Black Swan is beautifully crafted and Portman’s performance, as the psychologically deteriorating Nina, is believable and moving. Black Swan is a modern tragedy that parallels the struggle for perfection and its inherent consequences.