Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Black Swan

Rating : 6/10
Release Date : 17th December, 2010
Time : 108 minutes
Director : Darren Aronofsky; Writer : Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, John McLaughlin; Music : Clint Mansell
Starring : Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder, Barbara Hershey

Does each one of us have the ability to have evil co-exist inside us ? To let the colours black and white cohabit internally ?

Black Swan is the story of a ballerina (Natalie Portman), a woman who really wants to be the next diva, a woman who aches for perfection and makes all the sacrifices required to attain it, a lady who is still Mama’s little girl. However, the role that’s up for offer requires her to be a white swan and a black one. To be pristine, pure alongside being lustful and lascivious. To be serene one moment and wildly seductive the next. It’ll mean letting go. It’ll mean not worrying about technique but going with the flow. It’ll mean abandoning the quest for perfection. Can she ?

Vincent Cassel, the imperious, abrasive man who runs the ballet troupe isn’t sure at all. He thinks she’s frigid. She does something to change his mind. But even then he’s not sure. She is fearful, searching for his approval, trying her hardest to relinquish control. And wishes she could be as natural and spontaneous as the new recruit, Lily. Who thinks nothing of downing a cheeseburger (‘make it bloody’), a few drinks and some of the pure stuff in one night, while flirting and fucking the men she meets on a night about town. Can she ?

Natalie is brilliant. No two ways about that. There is a certain innate shyness about her, a certain fragility that is naturally charming. She behaves French, if you know what that means. And communicates the struggle between good and evil beautifully.

There are other layers as well. The loneliness of being at the top. The conspiracy theories that always surround the person who’s reached there. The plots to replace that person. The whispers that surround any woman who over-achieves. Imagine a delicate, shy girl thrust in all of this and you can see what all Natalie’s character has to cope with…

However, the movie itself, am not that sure of. Its an interesting idea, a great concept. But it became a bit too hallucigenic, too disjointed in parts. And definitely too gory in others. And I’m not sure either was really required. I feel the same could’ve as easily been communicated in a more normal way.

This is a movie that has become great and is being watched because of the Oscar. Else, the film itself wouldn’t have caused much of a ripple at the box office. There is a certain sense of tragedy in the film, a darkness that envelops the characters. Even the joy is communicated through tears and not laughter. And as the character metamorphizes, as the mom asks tearfully ‘where is my sweet little girl ?’, the chilling answer is that she’s gone…

PS : When I look at the quality and composition of the Posters / Stills, for example the poster I've used at the top or photo with the red hue, the thought put behind it is just stunning ! Hats off to them...


Anonymous said...

Like your review, Apurv. Natalie helps transcend everything the film lacks - or has too much of! Sunil

Manoj said...

i think your rating is a tad unkind on this occasion;mostly Im in complete agreement with you. I'd have gone for an 8.Think the film was gripping and an awesome watch. Natalie reminded me of Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday for some strange reason ! Manoj