Black Swan

One of the things that I am guilty about when it comes to keeping my blog is how unpolished my work is. I have a tendency to type and publish without proofreading. This leads me to see my errors after my post is up, and while I am now aware that I need to polish my work, I am not good at it. While my blog isn’t my whole life, I though I would mention this in comparison to Nina Sayers’ need to be perfect. She has devoted herself to her dance, wanting to emulate the principal dancer of the company, a woman she thought to be perfect. She has this desire to be perfect in her craft, and I feel like the opposite of her. This incessant need of hers has brought out pressures that she is impervious to, and this is what Black Swan is about. Classified as a psychological horror, this is about a dancer who was cast in the lead role of their production of Swan Lake, and her destruction to fulfill her role.

I cannot believe I have let seven years pass before finally picking up the film. If I can review this film with one gif, it would be this. This was phenomenal. There are a lot of interpretation pieces about this film, but I don’t think I’ll be doing any analyzing here because I was too busy being floored away by the writing, the cinematography, the music, the choreography, and the acting. Nina is such a complex character. She is this meek but dedicated dancer, and her lack of confidence shows in her professional and personal life. She lives with a controlling mother, and barely has any social interaction in her work place. She is all about perfecting her craft, wanting to become like the dancer she idolized. When the role of Swan Queen is being auditioned, she was immediately considered for White Swan, but her lack of tenacity and aggression initially dismissed her for the role until an incident that had the director reconsider. Still, she was having difficulty unleashing the persona demanded from her role, and this is where the film gets interesting, for a lack of a better word. 

As Nina’s state continuously disintegrates, the line between reality and hallucination becomes blurred, mixing both realities as one, until Nina pulls out and realizes that what has happened may not have happened at all. Her ticks were small at first, but when the pressure continuously built up, it got worse, with the persona of the Black Swan pushing herself to get out of that shell. The role requires an actress that can easily pull back and forth between two distinguishable personas without mixing them both. At first, I was wary of Natalie Portman, but she was astounding. She looked unassuming, but then clawed out this ravaging persona that was stark mad. This was a well-written character that could have been played by anyone, but I am glad that they had given it to Portman, and she delivered an amazing performance.

Everything fits in this film. The music was eerie, the choreography was wonderful, and the complexity of Nina’s character was just enough that it blended well with the production. If changes were to be made, I would have wanted something to be shifted from the scenes between Nina and her mother. I thought that it had some kind of impact to the film, seeing as there were a lot of scenes involving them, but even the outburst seemed controlled. It may have been done deliberately since Nina wasn’t at the climax of her transformation, but that scene could have been more explosive than it was. 

This was a entertaining and well-written film, and one that I would have to revisit to further absorb its interpretations and analysis. Also, I’m really glad I ended up liking this one; I watched another high profile Aronofsky film and didn’t love it as much as I would like.

This is my December pick. Click the banner for the rest of my entries.


  1. This is an outstanding film. Glad you finally got to take it in...and there is much to take in. As you mentioned, Nina's need to be perfect drives the film to the insane heights it reaches and Aronofsky brilliantly displays it all. Great review.

    1. This is an Aronofsky film that I'm definitely revisiting.