Fellas? this review is for you. Superficially, a story dealing with a ballerina?s professional struggles screams ?Chiiick Fliiick?! Bleecchh! A touchy-feely romantic date movie, this is not. Sex, violence, shock and gore are liberally splashed across the screen. Only those couples with a steadfast security in their relationships should view this together? and for God?s sake, don?t watch it with your kids or your parents.
The hottest sex scene is actually some pretty intense girl-on-girl action, earning the film every bit of its R-rating (I doubt that I?m the only man that felt a bit cheated when I learned that it was just a hallucination? or was it?). The violence and gore come at critical moments. It?s impossible to avert the eyes, because you intuitively know you?d be missing important points.
But beyond the aspects that appeal to the stereotypical male, Black Swan has a sophistication that resonates with any intelligent audience, male or female.
The film is perfectly cast. Natalie Portman is masterful in her role as the timid, virginal, insecure NINA in a top-level dance company? a very tricky role for garnering audience sympathy. Pulled by so many strong influences, Portman pulls the role off perfectly and radiates tension for the entire duration. Mila Kunis (Jackie from ?That 70s Show?) is amazing as Nina?s less-inhibited colleague and rival. Barbara Hershey is very effective in the role of Nina?s overbearing but very supportive ex-ballerina mom. Vincent Cassel is terrific as Thomas, the accomplished, dickhead director who knows that no member of his company would ever dare question his methods. Casting Winona Rider as the aging dancer being pushed out of a profession for the young was a nice touch. At one time, all of these major characters ask for your respect, your pity, your anger and your understanding. It?s your choice whether to provide it, and there is no wrong choice.
The soundtrack is appropriately based upon Tchaikovsky?s ?Swan Lake?. For most of the film, it could be easily be perceived as typical Hollywood melodrama. But in the final act, it morphs into a wonderful score piercing the depths of Nina?s struggles.
The term ?melodrama? is often used disparagingly. Black Swan is certainly melodramatic, but director Darren Aronofsky has found an ideal context for melodrama, and it works magnificently. The tension builds consistently to a powerful climax. Black Swan tip-toes into Lynchian surrealism, but doesn?t go overboard into the abstract. Director Darren Aronofsky plays with your mind without insult. Just let him do it, because he does it well. And don?t get pissed if he takes you in a different direction. You may feel drained, but Black Swan will certainly bury itself within your psyche.
Guys, if your not convinced? then please don?t forget the hot girlie scene.