Black Swan (2010)

rating: 4/5

As a Psychology student, I am attracted to watch this movie due to its dark, psychological thriller story presented. However, after I watched the movie, even with the remedy of watching Madagascar 2 cannot heal my disturbed mind. Let’s be honest, it’s a great movie, but it’s a very dark one indeed.

First of all, THUMBS up for Natalie Portman as the main actress. Needless to say, she is perfect for the role. I watched No Strings Attached a couple of weeks earlier and I just can’t believe that they are the same person. Natalie Portman in No Strings Attached is an ordinary girl who just living her life – and even acts a bit ‘seductive’, if you know what I mean. In Black Swan, she is a very innocent girl who just wants the role as the Swan Queen. And in the end, she shows her dark side – a totally different person.

Black Swan, simply puts, reveals the dark side of human. It shows that no matter how good your ‘White Swan’ is, there will always be a dark side of yours, hidden, your very own ‘Black Swan’. In the end, Nina (the Swan Queen, played by Natalie Portman), chose to be the black swan. Once again, it’s just a matter of choice.

“It’s about a girl who gets turned into a swan and she needs love to break the spell, but her prince falls for the wrong girl so she kills herself.” – Nina

One review (by hypercube) of the movie says,

“…As Nina goes deeper and deeper into her role as the Swan Queen, Portman only becomes more and more captivating. The entire cast is excellent, but Portman alone makes this movie a must-see.

Darren Aronofsky is at his boldest heading up Black Swan. His depiction of Nina’s struggles as she succumbs to growing pressures from her director, her mother, her rivals, her physical ailments, her personal need for a perfect performance.. it is intense, thrilling, exhausting, and truly gripping throughout. Part of what makes it work is that we are completely along for the ride with Nina. We see what she sees, we experience what she experiences, and sometimes it is truly distressing stuff.”

While entirely agreeing that “Portman alone makes this movie a must-see”, I am left to wonder about the morale of the story. Nina decides to be the Black Swan, killing herself in order to be ‘perfect’.

Before I watched this movie, a friend told me, “Remember Heath Ledger? He is so captured in his role as Joker in The Dark Knight movie that he finally becomes a dark person – and died. It reminds me of the movie Black Swan.”

It’s true that a good actor needs to be absorbed by the character that he is playing in the movie. But I guess it’s not worth the price if you pay it with your own life. Heath Ledger is a legend; I highly respect him as an actor, but he chooses to keep being the ‘Black Swan’, a decision that brings him to his death.

Moreover, now I find myself chuckling by the fact that both swans actually chose the wrong paths. While the ‘black swan’ reveals the dark side of a person, the ‘white swan’ is not entirely white. My interpretation is, when she decided to kill herself because the prince falls for the wrong girl, she turns into the black swan as well. Again, it’s a matter of choice.

A dark movie, but it’s unique nonetheless, and yes, Natalie Portman now has my respect.


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