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Movie Review: Black Swan

It’s Hard To Digest.

By Jyotsna Kumar

For her audience it was a simple ballet, but for her it was more than her life! Can something be so pivotal, that it consumes your entire life? Black Swan makes us wonder that.

Black Swan is a story of a young, aspiring ballerina Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) who naively wins a part in a ballet called Swan Lake. She is perfect for her delicate portrayal as white swan but looses her mental peace in her struggle to portray black swan. Her gullible nature is taken for a ride by her manipulative ballet director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel), who discreetly bid farewell to the ballerina queen, Beth (Winona Ryder). Swamped by images, hallucinations, insecurity towards the free-spirited rival Lily (Mila Kunis) and her mother Erica (Barbara Hershey), who too was a ballet dancer and knows the up-side down of Thomas Leroy world, Nina withdraws in her own shell and moves to the extent of madness in her attempt to attain perfection, approval and quest to find her evil identity as Black Swan.

Director Darren Aronofsky has taken a leap of faith from a faded professional wrestler who is trying to pick up pieces of his life outside the ring in his last film, to a ballerina Nina Sayers in her quest to find her evil side. Black Swan is disturbing, aching and overwhelming in most areas but, add thrills to the screenplay with those ‘Blink and Miss’ yet sharply placed haunting images. The cinematography is unique; the entire movie is shot as if Nina Sayers is watching it from her naked eyes. The stark areas of the film are beautifully highlighted. And now the clincher- Natalie Portman performance infuses live into the character of Nina Sayers. Bravo! Darren Aronofsky for casting her. Also, watch out for the cameo appearance by Winona Ryder, she’s surely not to be missed.

There is a common ground between the Oscar winner best actor (Colin Firth for The King’s Speech) and actor (female- Natalie Portman for Black Swan) character’s this year, both have attempted to find themselves and both succeed. Black Swan is a painful ballet show but is surely a performance led film.

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