17 February 2011

Black Swan

Five times Oscar nominated 'Black Swan' was a complete and utter surprise from start to finish.I had heard so many good things about it by both people and in other reviews. The simple fact that it is nominated for an Oscar surely means that I would find it incredible.

The truth is, it is very very good. Not incredible so much, as the plot was quite obvious, with no twists as such. What it really does is tell the story of an innocent perfectionist ballerina who descends into madness whilst trying to understand and therefore live the role of the black swan, from Swan Lake.And my god, does it tell that story well.

We certainly see the whole story from Nina's (Natalie Portman) point of view, with the audience starting to see the changes in her as she does. We are shocked when she is, we cringe when she bleeds, when her legs break, we are terrified when she sees herself in the mirror, but not herself - the black swan, her bad side.The film, although I knew it had a 15 certificate was surprisingly gory, with an imagined murder, a hand being crushed twice in a door, faces being stabbed, legs broken and lots of bleeding.

It is definitely a psychological thriller, with the main character hallucinating a double of herself (a doppelganger) that she eventually seems to change into. We can see how her perfectionism leads her to take risks and to become destructive in her relationships as well as to herself. At the end she transforms into the black swan completely, with feathers bursting from her arms as she dances and embraces her new role.

And the very end seems quite complete, almost like it was always coming to it anyway. A perfect ending that mirrors Swan Lake and causes her story to be intertwined with that one in the audiences mind forever.

Natalie Portman was, as always, brilliant. Though I have to say, I think I preferred her character in 'V for Vendetta' a little more. If only because she wasn't so much of a sap.However, her portrayal of this ballerina falling into insanity is perfect. You feel like you really understand her and why she does what she does.

I personally liked the tiny things that were almost imperceptible to a normal viewer: The black and white colour scheme running throughout, and the flashes of vivid red that was reminiscent of a certain 'Sin City'. Her ring tone subtly changing to Swan Lake as she gets more into her roles.The fluid shots that connected the story together.

This film is certainly a one that I would watch again, and you won't be wasting two hours of your life if you see it too, no matter who you are.