Sunday, June 5, 2011

my thoughts on.... 'Black Swan' (2010)

As soon as I posted on Facebook that I'd finished watching this film, I was already being asked what I thought. I am sorry that it's taken me this long to get my thoughts out. I think I just needed to formulate them a bit more as after I first finished watching 'Black Swan' I was a bit perplexed as to what I really felt about it. I don't know what I was expecting and I had been anxiously awaiting watching it, but had to put it off for almost a month due to my 'Top 50' countdown. (I didn't want to watch a bunch of new movies and then not be able to review them right away.) I am a fan of Darren Aronofsky and have enjoyed all of his films but the AWFUL 'The Fountain'. He's a talented director and is able to create some extremely disturbing scenes like David Lynch, but can also make a touching film about wrestling.... that's a pretty broad range of talent. I also am a long term fan of Vincent Cassel and Natalie Portman. I've said since I saw her in 'The Professional' that she would win an Oscar some day and this film was my final vindication. I don't know much about ballet and that was one of the things that kept me from seeing this film sooner and the fact that I'm not a big Mila Kunis fan. After seeing this, I can say that I can appreciate both things much more now. This film is unique in a lot of ways. It's nice and refreshing to have a film like this that can tell an original story with fresh faces and make it interesting. I think the fact that this film was so well received is due largely in the fact that it's an original film and not a re-hash of something else.

The film tells the story of a dancer who has worked a long time to get ahead in her ballet company. When the director announces that his next production will be 'Swan Lake', she takes this as her chance to step up and take the lead. In the meantime, the previous star of the ballet tries to kill herself, but ends up only severely injuring herself and securing the fact that she may never dance again. As the competition heats up for the lead, our heroine begins to lose her grip on reality. It's a slow decline, but it's there. She wins the role, but it doesn't bring her happiness. After a lot of time and trouble, she is ready for opening night. By this point, she has all but lost all sense of reality and is spiraling out of control. In full make-up and ready to perform, the curtain rises and the end begins.

So, at this point you may still be wondering if I enjoyed this or not? The answer is, I am still not 100% sure. It didn't reach out and grab me like 'The Wrestler' did. It didn't freak me out like 'Requiem For A Dream' did. It didn't fascinate me like 'Pi' did. It is a bit of a confusion. I want to like it and there is a lot about it that I do like.... maybe even love. Everything about this film is so well put together and everyone does so well in this film, it's hard to not say that it was amazing. There is just something off about it. I think Winona Ryder threw me off a bit. She just seemed out of place in the storyline and kind of forced. Some of the hallucinations are a bit 'off' and not done as well as they could have been. Despite all of that, it's still a film that I will want to add to my collection, as I can already say that I want to see it again. This is something that I believe upon further review, will grow on me more and more.

I think that this is something I would recommend to people to watch. Just be prepared to kind of suspend your disbelief. Not that amazing things happen, but that it's so kind of mind-bending that you have to take a step back from reality to enjoy it fully. A great film that I think will grow on me over time. Something that I can't seem to get out of my head, but I did my best to get some of my thoughts down for you. I hope this satisfies what you were looking for. 4 out of 5 stars and 1 creepy moving picture on the wall.

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