I went into Black Swan with a sense of impending doom! I normally prefer lighter stuff but the ballet twist saw me handing over hard-earned cash in return for the promise of being scared witless!
Darren Aronofsky’s film tells of a ballet dancer who wins the lead in “Swan Lake” and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan – Princess Odette – but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odette’s evil sister, Odile, the Black Swan.
The ballet footage in the film is beautifully danced and stunningly shot, with a great story to boot. Natalie Portman is outstanding (and I was amazed at the standard she reached with classical dance, which was based on a single years training!) and she heads up a really strong cast.
I thought the film was fabulous but if I had to sum it up in one word, I’d say ‘uncomfortable’. Parents, please take the 15 rating seriously (and I’d suggest that you need to use your discretion depending on the maturity of your 15 year old). The relationship between the ballerina and her mother is stifling at best and towards the end of the film becomes really disturbing. There are some very explicit scenes and some graphic-real world violence. Miss Alison may well have been burying her face in her cinema-buddy’s shoulder at several of the more gorey points! The sense of Nina ‘losing her mind’ comes across in the form of a genuine physical/psychological disorder with a horror-film feel which leaves the viewer feeling pretty disturbed.
This is no pretty ‘boy-meets-girl’ ballet flick. Approach with caution. And a large cushion to hide behind! Please take the certification seriously, but a fantastic film if you’re old enough/brave enough!
Four stars! (Would have been five, had I not been so spooked by it!!)