Black Swan Reviews
I thought the dancing was beautiful and Natalie Portman played her part well i also thought the creepy speckled turned out well.
The stage is set you get intrigued in the first half hour and after a while you start to think your seeing things, but i tell your not. Nina is.
Combing the beautiful dancing with the damaging mind of Nina was in word. Unique. I definitely think the overall effect was very Swan Lake and not just because thats the show there exacuting.
Also like The Wrestler, Aronofksy approaches the material rough, harsh, cinema-verite, though here I don't agree with it as it feels less reflective of the inner psychological portrait it's supposed to be. The lighting style and film stock don't work with the finds of angles, movements, and eventual edits. It's awkward and too grainy. It feels at times Aronofsky is hiding his points to make a more popular looking film in favor of one that's more interesting.
But the performances, expressions, and makeup are perfect. It lends to the effect of Lily being natural for the role of Black Swan; she's a little darker, hotter, in touch with the necessary reality required to understand the role. Nina can't depict this because she's a dramatist, a faker, an isolated compulsive dancer who only understands art outside context of reality. Makeup is key because it manipulates the faces to play these roles effectively.
Obsessive vanity has its rewards; Nina gets the part but is less liked by her peers. The sadness is that Nina is deluding into the Black Swan character, a slow digression from obsession. She sees herself as becoming this Swan.
Lily in black, Nina in white, they fittingly meet in the bathroom and the dynamic is perfect. Lily is sexually suggestive, seductive, friendly and inviting to Nina, a true angel vs devil story.
The Director is the manipulator of the black/white, good/evil dynamic, and in-betweener trying to help Nina turn on her lifestyle to become the Black Swan, as suggested by his purely black and white apartment. These colors (or lack of) are a dominant theme. Nina's mother Erica wears black when cutting her nails. Her bedroom is also black and white with just a hint of innocent pink, suggesting her mother's youthful treatment of her is a dangerous innocence sitting on the brink of becoming the absolutist black/white thinker Director is. The overall palette has an interesting limit, some splashes of red added to the black, white, and pink. Expressions of envy were captured, but where was the green to sour the obvious obsession scheme? The problem was I didn't feel we explored beyond these obvious parameters.
The masturbation scene is terrific; as she explores this phenomenal feeling, she is inhibited by the disturbing sight of mother sleeping invasively nearby.
It seems as though this entire stage production is designed to manipulate Nina into broken innocence. Director gropes her sexually, telling her she has to seduce him, not him to her. Eventually, she sees him in an evil mask fucking a woman backstage.
There's some good and bad with the whole Black Swan metaphor. The idea is beautiful, artistic for sure, but at times distracted by reaching, contrived methods. After stabbing Lily to death and effectively becoming the Black Swan, I feel this film is best viewed as a glorified horror film, especially upon the delusion of metamorphosis. Yet it's not that interesting, it's trite, used, not exactly a shocker. It's more fun to believe Lily was killed and that Nina is so crazy as to have needed this to become the Black Swan.
By the time Nina throws herself off stage, it's a bit melodramatic, but a harsh stick to Director and everyone who exploited her being this way. It cleverly fades to white, her darkness complete, now returned to the innocence with her point made. The audience maybe deserves more, I'm not solely interested in her black and white life. Why don't we get to see Erica, Director, and Lily react? The perspective is narrow, the agendas of the supporting cast under-examined. But then it is consistent with Aronofksy, ending Wrestler on a similar note, which didn't seem to need anymore than we saw.