I went to see Darren Aronofsky's 'Black Swan' today, after reading so many reviews and hearing peoples comments and to be honest, for me it was a let down.
Don't get me wrong, it was beautifully filmed and directed. Stunning costumes. Brilliant acting from Natalie Portman. Amazing feel to the whole movie...yet I think the overall detail to the story was lacking a spark....yes it had me talking for a good couple of hours after, yes it left me thinking about what I'd just seen...but in a weeks time it will be just another film in my distant memory (unlike true genius like Inception or LOTR, films I will never forget, nor do I want to)
I felt I walked away questioning certain parts of the film. Obviously we discover it's all been in her head and more of less the story of 'Swan Lake' becomes true and she ends up killing herself in the madness of perfection. But are we supposed to presume that literally everything that happen before this moment was false....for example, what actually happened after the club? She comes home alone? Did she get hit by her mother or was it actually the other way round? Was the rash real or not, her mother could see it yet at the end it causes her to 'grows wings', which wasn't real? How did she break the mirror...by throwing herself into it? How did she managed to dance perfectly with glass in her stomach? Did Nina stab Beth in the face? What were all those paintings about? Why did her mother keep asking if she'd been scratching herself again, what was the history there?
Yes maybe stupid questions that I shouldn't think about but when you look at the details, it is a little messed up.
I would of liked to have found out more about her mother's past so I could of understood the feeling and emotion there.
Another thing...Thomas tells Nina to go home and touch herself. Okay yeah everyone understands what he means, everyone understands why he's said it etc....now we have a scene showing Natalie Portman touching herself, okay that's fine it's all part of getting into the black swans mind set, letting herself go.....but I'm sorry, how many times did we have to see it after that?? Maybe it's just me (I'm sure no boys that have seen the film would be complaining) but there must of been at 3 times we have to see her masturbating.....you know something, I think we might just get it, we really don't need to be shown again and again and again.....Seemed pretty pointless personally. Kinda got sick of the whole 'Lets all grab Nina's crotch' game the cast had going on. Not to mention some girl on girl action thrown in for the guys....you'd think a ballet film would be every guys nightmare....not this film trust me :)
I do understand the film and I do understand what was trying to be portrayed and the whole good, frigid, perfectionist vs the bad, seductive, carefree characters. And yes it was done very well I admit.
I think the mix of genres worked well, psychological thriller with slight horror and to bring beautiful ballet dancing into that as well, was a job well done.
I'm sure all the film boffs out there will disagree hugely with my opinions, instead they will be touching themselves about this film tonight....(like what I did there :P)
But everyone has their opinions and for me, from an average cinema goer's perspective, it was just not as good as I thought/hoped it was going to be.
I'd like to mention briefly the costumes in the film.
The costumes were designed by Rodarte's Kate and Laura Mulleavy. Their inspirations came from Anna Pavlova's 'The Dying Swan', images from New York City Ballet in the 1970's and 1980's, Eva Hesse and Rodarte's own s/s 2010 collection.
Quote 'The practise tutu had to be stained to show years of use. Tattered beauty has always been part of our design'
For me the costumes were fantastic, as I've always wanted to create a collection based on ballet dancers. The designs seemed so effortless and simple yet, so delicate and detailed.
I also loved the make up used for both sides of the swan, the way all the elements can turn a persons image and (in this films case) personality into something completely different.
Overall, a beautifully executed film, visually superb an example of art and media working together perfectly. Just slight let downs in the story. Definitely worth going to see if you're interested in design and media.
Natalie Portman does deserve an award for her performance, I admire her for the amount of work she must of put in for this role. True commitment.