Friday, February 11, 2011

Black Swan [2010]

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey
Genre: Drama/Psychological Thriller
Rating: Adult (horrific imagery, strong sexual content)
Comment: "100% hypnotic..."

What seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime for ballet dancer Nina Sayers, whose obsession with perfecting her craft sends her on a slow descent towards madness, which eerily mirrors her role on stage as the Swan Queen.

What to Expect
1. Almost painful to watch, yet you can't look away.
2. Darren Aronofsky's incredible artistic vision.
3. Spectacular performance by Natalie Portman.

What NOT to Expect
1. The movie to play down on the audience.
2. Cheap thrills.
Despite all the accolades, I must say it was a bit hard to built any sort of anticipation for this film, considering how little I think of ballet. Not that I look down on it or anything, it's just that the whole concept feels so isolated since I know very little of it. But I went for it anyway, knowing that Darren Aronofsky has yet to make a bad movie, and my crush on Natalie Portman should keep it afloat regardless of how it turns out.

Owh, and the cuteness of Mila Kunis as well...
Well, turns out I got more than what I bargained for. Black Swan forgoes all the cheap thrills in favour of a truly disturbing psychological thriller, a faint reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock while remaining unmistakably Darren Aronofsky.

Indeed, if you have the same concerns as I had, let me tell you that Aronofsky has this "magical touch"; even if you feel somewhat detached with the world he's trying to take you into, he has his way of absorbing you into the middle of it all, making you feel like an active participant in the events better than any 3D glasses can. With Black Swan, he took it all to another level with its distinctive atmosphere, cinematography and subtle visual effects. Simply put, it was one very hypnotic movie.

On the side note, this movie gave me another reason to resent The Social Network [2010]. Seriously, I think it was good, but it wasn't that good. With all the awards it snagged, you would think it was the best movie ever made in history! *cough*... With great movies in the whole of 2010 like Inception, The King's Speech, True Grit and of course, Black Swan here, you have to wonder how The Social Network won it all like it was a no contest.

Well, moving on. I can't end this without mentioning how spectacular Natalie Portman was in this movie, and it has nothing to do with my lil' crush on her either. I must say they picked the right actor to portray Nina Sayers and I can't see anyone else making it work. It kind of did what Stephen King had always wanted for the horror classic The Shining [1980], where a decent person's descent towards madness made believable by the wide range of an actor, and Natalie Portman certainly showcased that.

Don't get any wrong idea, this is no monster movie. It is psychological thriller at its best...
I give this movie the maximum score of A+.


Zulfahmi said...

Kudos to Natalie Portman~

Caveat Lector said...

blogwalking here.. saw this post.

Thanks for the review, dah lama nak tengok Black Swan nie, since the time it started showing in the cinemas, but a bit ragu-ragu nak pegi ke x. Definitely will go, then.

Mamü Vies said...

Yeah, as long as you don't mistake this movie as some kind of a ballet drama. It's an intriguing thriller, and a lot better if you can somehow watch the uncut version.

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