Black Swan Review
By Tessa Stathis
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
There are two movies I've seen in my life that I never want to see again.
Interestingly, both of these movies are done by the same director - Darren Aronofsky. One is the disturbing "Requiem for a Dream," and the other is "Black Swan."
The plotline of "Black Swan" revolves around 20-something-year-old Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), a perfection-seeking dancer who has a part in the famous ballet, Swan Lake. She still lives at home with her constricting mother, Erica (Barbara Hershey) who babies her and treats her as if she is still a child. As Nina struggles to let go of her frigid dancing style and become more sensual and in tune with her role as the Black Swan, she begins to realize that her drive for perfection may be her undoing.
Shooting with a handheld camera that is at times unbearably shaky, Aronofsky shows his knack for putting the viewer in the character's shoes. Pair this with Portman's superb acting, orchestra experts from Swan Lake, and a dark and gritty feel, the effect of the movie is startlingly disturbing and much too close for comfort. As is his legacy with "Requiem for a Dream," Aronofsky once again takes film to a whole new level by bringing the art back into movies and setting a whole new standard for abstract films.
I never want to see "Black Swan" again because it was unbearably painful to watch and it disrupted my dreams for the rest of the weekend. But it was so achingly, beautifully shot and was such a powerful statement on perfection that I would recommend it to everyone. This way, it can serve as a reminder that we're only human.