“Black Swan” Review ✦✦✦✦✦

7 August, 2017

Year of Release: 2010
Darren Aronofsky
Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, John J. McLaughlin
Director of Photography: 
Matthew Libatique
Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel

Synopsis: A dedicated ballet dancer with a self-critical temperament lands the lead role in Swan Lake, pushing her further than she’s ever been pushed before as she tries to capture the essence of the ballet’s alluring black swan while struggling to shake off the discipline of her strict upbringing.

Black Swan Review:

A magnetic thriller draped in silk and beset by inner turmoil, “Black Swan” bleats to the rhythm of a burdened heart, using the unspoken violence of classic ballet to fuel an exciting yet ultimately destructive rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Intentionally messy and horrifyingly tunnel-visioned, the film entices viewers with Lynchian brushstrokes, creating the Tyler Durden effect as aspiration and reality homogenise to create an artist destined to succeed, but one whose moment of glory is limited to the leap before her curtain call.

Inspired by “The Red Shoes” yet most similar in complexion to Swan Lake itself, “Black Swan” reworks the horrors of its source material into an exquisite tale of vicious perfectionism, allowing scabs to tear and sinews to crack only to sprout wings from the very source of self-harm. As an internal battle becomes a metaphor for the origins of greatness, visionary director Darren Aronofsky teases out an award-winning performance from Natalie Portman who transforms alongside her character in a role defined by the weight of obsession and the pain behind her puppy dog eyes.

On the verge of tears and persecuted by the expectations of her assertive mother, Portman’s ballerina hides behind apologies and submission, allowing herself to crumple like a wilting rose as she struggles to replace compulsion with seduction. Reasserting herself in a sensual moment of passion as the siren on the side-lines, played wonderfully by the alluring Mila Kunis, becomes the target of an envious lust that awakens the mind, body, and soul, the timid ballet dancer blossoms into a woman before our eyes, unleashing her black swan in a ferocious interpretation of a practically impossible twin performance while spectators watch opened-mouthed in sheer awe of total mania.


Review Date
Black Swan