I went to go and see Black Swan a couple of weeks ago, and the time it’s taken to get this written up is partially due to the fact I’ve been so busy, and partially due to the general feelings (or lack of feelings) that I have towards the film. Detailing the preparation a ballerina goes through in preparing for a production of Swan Lake the film also deals with the main characters fragile mental state beginning with what appears to be mild paranoia and with this building up further and further to the rather strange finale. On one level it could be looked at the main characters ambition to fulfil the part reaching so deeply that she becomes the role she is trying to portray.
The biggest problem for me with this film was that I couldn’t get a handle in with any of the characters. Natalie Portman gave what I’m sure if a fantastic performance but it left me feeling cold and uncaring towards her. Barbara Hersheys performance as the mother trying to live her dreams through her daughter was suitably disturbing, but the other characters seemed more like caricatures of people not quite fully rounded – the supporting character who came closest to this was Winona Ryder s character Beth – but she was given such little screentime that you only really got hints of what was going on.
Stylistically the film was very good – the camera swops right in during the ballet sequences taking you straight into the action, pulling you in so you can see the faces of the dancers. As the main characters mental state becomes more and more fragile you get some more bizarre scenes involving – what is in her eyes – a transformation from human to a swan. This is something that the film does very well, blurring the lines between reality and the imagination constantly leaving you wondering whether what you have seen was real or not real – the only problem with this is that towards the end of the film this blurring is a lot less effective and it becomes no surprise when a supposedly dead character pokes their head round the door.
Overall as a film it didn’t really grab me in the way I needed to be grabbed – as previously stated I couldn’t find a connection with the characters so I couldn’t care for them whilst this was going on. It was an interesting look into how obsession with your work can affect you, but I left the cinema without feeling the need to see the film again. It’s a certainly a strange one this one possibly the best way to describe it would be the unintended pun I made leaving the cinema.
“That film was ducked up.”