The Black Swan review film by Darren Aronofsky with Natalie Portman

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The black Swan review film by Darren Aronofsky with Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder And Benjamin Millepied

Swan Lake is one of the most famous Russian ballets of the nineteenth century. The intriguing story and the sublime music of Pëtr Il’ič Tchaikovsky make it a great material to transpose into another art form e Darren Aronofsky, director of Mother! And Requiem for a Dream, in 2010 he decided to adapt and direct it The black Swan, inspired by the ballet written by Vladimir Petrovic Begičev. The libretto is based on an ancient German fairy tale that tells the story of a girl forced by a spell to live in the body of a white swan and only true love can break the curse. A prince falls in love with the poor unfortunate, but the envious twin, the black swan, seduces him and takes away the possibility of returning to normalcy. Devastated, the white swan throws herself off a cliff and only in death does she find the much desired freedom.

The black Swan: the plot

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The film contextualizes the story and sets it in the New York of the new millennium. The protagonist is Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), dancer of one of the biggest companies in the big apple, who has been dreaming of an important role in a ballet for years. The theater season is upon us and the artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) is going to bring Swan Lake in an innovative way: he wants the black swan and the white swan to be interpreted by the same dancer. Nina plans to get the part, but the competition is high and she starts having strange visions, along with mysterious bruises on her body that distract her from her goal. The audition for the white swan is perfect, his interpretation of purity, fragility and insecurity are genuine, however, the black swan is a disaster because he cannot bring out the instinctive, irrational and destructive side of his person. To everyone’s amazement, even Nina herself, the next day the roles are announced and the director has chosen her.

Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman (Credits: Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Natalie Portman and Vincent Cassel
Natalie Portman and Vincent Cassel (Credits: Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Thus begins to work on the part that is missing, especially looking at the new dancer Lily (Mila Kunis), because despite being inaccurate, it is full of sensuality, instinct and irrationality. Nina tries to replicate her attitudes, to approach sex and her body without hesitation, but in no way fails to open up to that world. Only by establishing a deeper relationship with Lily will she be able to dig inside herself, as her body bleeds and loses pieces that continue to rebuild itself, with ever more insistent visions of a different Nina from the one she herself knows. Her world collapses, her balance is broken, but the ballet is close, the only thing that matters is to be up to it and the dancer is forced to fight with all her might to make her dream come true in a surreal ending, masterful and unexpected.

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Surreal and dreamlike to pursue perfection

The touch that makes it Aronofsky a single director is to set the film on a different plane than everyone else. The surreal, the oneiric side of the story is not imagined, but is present within the film and serves as a further analysis tool. Nina’s story manages to have an impact precisely because there is something that doesn’t work, that cannot exist in reality. So, everything is projected elsewhere and Swan Lake it is not just a work to be transposed to the theater, it becomes the story of Nina. The dancer is herself the personification of the white swan, a pure and innocent creature, without however that emotional part that would make her perfect. This strong lack forces her to search inside her soul, chasing something unattainable. Nina has to decide whether to stop and stay the beautiful white swan or get dirty with the black one she never had the courage to look for.

The Black Swan review film by Darren Aronofsky with Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman (Credits: Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Mila Kunis in The Black Swan
Mila Kunis (Credits: Fox Searchlight Pictures)

The black Swan it is, therefore, a great metaphor that describes the human desire to achieve the desired success and what the human being is willing to do to achieve it. Nina to reach artistic perfection she must embrace a side that does not belong to her, but which is necessary to reach her limit and the decision she makes will change her forever. The bodily transformation that she undergoes throughout the film is the symptom of a change that she is forced to face, which she cannot escape from because it is herself, deep down, who wants nothing more than to reach the black swan.

The black Swan it is a crazy film, with a strong oneiric component in a damn human story with stories inserted one inside the other, to give life to the discomfort of not being up to par. The character played excellently by Natalie Portman he is weak, self-defeating, lives with his mother, Erica Sayers (Barbara Hershey), an oppressive woman and her evil side is outside herself. To reconcile with her in order to achieve absolute perfection he will have to face it, he will have to fight against black, against what he has always refused. Are you really willing to destroy yourself for art? Are you really capable of killing yourself to remain in history?

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