All I have been hearing about lately is how great the Black Swan is. Whether hearing people brag about it on Twitter or hearing guys around the office talk about it, everywhere I went the Black Swan was all the rage. So this past weekend I decided to go see what all the fuss was about. Note that I had not seen the preview for this film. I had no clue what the movie was about. Regardless, we walked in and sat down with an open mind. When Natalie Portman showed up, I got excited. She is a pretty solid actress and I was ready for a treat with her in the lead role.
About half way through, I was unimpressed. The movie is nothing new. This story has been told before. It shows a lot of scenes with people dancing, both men and women; we have seen this time and time again. The ballet is never something I got into, but this film does do a good job of showing how hard these people work. From tying their shoelaces to stretching their muscles, the movie takes you deep into the life of a dancer.
One of my best girl friends is actually a dancer out in Las Vegas. I have never seen her dance (I’m not a very good friend apparently) and if she goes through a fraction of this, I feel bad for her. The hours are long, the stress is intense, and the talent is immense. Of course, this is a movie so I have no idea if this is what it’s like in real life.
New Characters Begin to Take Shape
You are quickly introduced to the mother, a former dancer, and apparent superstar. The daughter is trying her best to live up to what her mother once was. You are also introduced to some of the other dancers, one who craves attention and demands the spotlight. She is the wild child, staying out late, drinking, and having sex with any man (or woman) that she can get her hands on. She eventually plays a key role in the film, but I don’t want to spoil it for you if you have yet seen the movie.
Then the film starts to get weird. There are a handful of scenes that take your mind for a journey in to the unknown. What just happened? Who knows; you never really find out. It is left up to the imagination which gets irritating after a while. I heard one moviegoer say that the film, “took my mind on a roller coaster of emotion”. That is pretty accurate, but all along I kept thinking alternate reality, or perhaps a split personality was the cause for my confusion.
The film has a great soundtrack, and managed to keep my attention throughout even though I called the ending halfway through the film. The lead role, the dancer, is young, plays a perfect white swan, and but struggles to find the perfect black swan inside of her. She lands the lead role, can’t handle the pressure, yet tries to dig deeper than she has ever gone before. She pulls it off, but the ending to this film is quick, to the point, and hits you like a ton of bricks.
This film was decent at best. The story has been told before. But the acting saves it from being a waste of time. See it, but wait until it is on DVD. It’s not worth the money to see it in the theater. I give this film 3/5 stars, and the only reason it got that high of a rating is because of Natalie’s ability to put on a great performance. Even though I didn’t like the film, she deserves an award for her role as the lead swan.