Black Swan is a movie which bores into you like the thorny barb of a black wing feather. Its a movie which will definitely stay with you for a while after watching. The story of a sheltered young woman who wants so badly to be the perfect ballet dancer is a dark and permeating look into the pressures faced by those in the spotlight. Natalie Portman and Darren Aronofsky both deserve a lot of credit for bring the story of this dancer to life in a vivid and haunting way.
The film’s story mirrors that of Swan Lake, the ballet production Nina has just become the star of. Just as the innocent white swan queen is being transformed into the wilder black swan, so to is Nina transforming. However, this transformation is driving her mad.
This is one of the best portrayals of madness I’ve ever seen in film. Aronofsky shows us Nina’s descent in a way in which we are always guessing what is real and what is in her head, even after the film is through. Nina’s relationship with a new dancer Lily is a crucial part of downward spiral into paranoia and fear.
This is a wonderful study into the mind of a girl with simply too much pressure on herself who feels like she has to be perfect. But up until the ending, that’s all it really is. When we reach the opening night of the play int he last act, however, the film itself seems to transform just as Nina and the white swan do, and it is a wild and thrilling finale. Nina’s insanity finally takes over in a compelling and chilling way. A fantastic film.