Prepare for a roller coaster ride with “Black Swan”

By Wren Culp

Staff Writer

Before I get started, I want to warn people that this film is not for everybody. This is not a “friday night with friends” film. This film is out there, off the walls and a lot of film to comprehend.

I’ve seen my fair share of films in my short life. I’ve seen classics to rom-com’s and everything in between. But with Black Swan, the new film by Darren Aronofsky, I can’t put a classification on this type of film, because I’ve never seen anything like it.

Black Swan pushes it’s protagonist Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), a ballerina from Manhattan to the brink of insanity and back. With the overwhelming desire to be perfect at her “craft”, Sayers finds herself trapped within layers of herself.

At the beginning of the film, the story of the Black Swan is told. A love story on how the White Swan loves her prince but her “alter ego”, the Black Swan, comes and seduces him and they fall in love, leading to the White Swan’s self inflicted death.

Sayers only wants to be perfect. She wants to be the best their is at her role for as long as she’s doing it, and wants to be remembered as a legacy.

Sayers has been living with an oppressive mother her entire life. Her room is filled with stuffed animals, butterfly bed spreads and other items you would find in a 12-year-old girls room. So in short, Sayers has never gotten a chance to really explore her life and her surroundings outside her mothers limitations

But it’s not all of her mother’s doing. Sayers is obsessed with ballet, working everyday to perfect her art. In the prologue of the film, we see her dream. She’s dancing the role that is destined to take over her life with another male dancer that digitally morphs into a birdlike monster and draws her into the shadows.

It’s Sayers’s dream role, and one she is determined to get. And from watching the audition scene, it’s very obvious that Sayers deserves the role of the White Swan.

But her director Thomas (Vincent Cassel) says it very clearly. “If I were casting just the White Swan, you would have it in a heartbeat. But it’s so much more than the White Swan. The Black Swan is the key to this entire role”.

The Black Swan is a role that let’s go of control.  Makes every move and every action seem effortless. Essentially, the Black Swan is free of self consciousness. But the Black Swan is not just a role, it’s a personality, and very few people have that personality.

Lily (Mila Kunis), has the personality of the Black Swan, and both Lily and Thomas know it. Lily is one of the ballerinas in the company along with Sayers, and when Lily auditions the part of the Black Swan, they both recognize her relaxation and the way she just “lets go” of everything while she is performing.

Along with other ballerinas in the company, Lily and Sayers are competing for the role of the Swan Queen, which Sayers ends up taking when she shows Thomas some of her “Black Swan” side.

The film is based a lot around self- consciousness and the way we think of ourselves and our true inner emotions and how dangerous they can really be towards yourself and others.

The film also stresses more points on how the desires to be perfect or even better than what we are now live within all of us. The film left me thinking about even my desire to improve who I am and what I stand for.

The film made me realize that their is a White Swan and a Black Swan in all of us.There is a side that is controlled and taught to make rational, careful decisions. Then there is a side of us that is longing to get out and be free from the oppression of other people and even of our inner thoughts.

A side to us that is longing to get out and experience the world and do what we long to do with an effortless attitude, and a satisfied feeling with ourselves. The Black Swan is our projection of what we dream of becoming. The White Swan is what we really are.

Portman (Star Wars Episode III, V for Vendetta) and Kunis (That’s 70  show, The Book of Eli) deliver solid performances in the film along side with Cassel (Ocean’s Thirteen). Together, they make each role different and unique which will make it interesting to see their roles clash.

The film is directed by Aronofsky (The Wrestler,Requiem for a Dream) who makes the film elegantly edgy. With half body camera movements and quick turn arounds while dancing, the film is brought to a new dimension with his vision.

The score for the film is done by Clint Mansell who has composed scores for all of Aronofsky’s films. The score brings a raw version of an orchestra piece by using the movements of people to determine the loudness of the sound. It’s a very interesting listen, and can be found iTunes.

One thing I remember when I was watching the film is that I found my jaw dropped, literally, through some parts of the film. That’s what this film will do to you.

Although it’s not a horror movie, Black Swan has its scares along with its emotional roller coaster ride moments and all this will leave you wondering this question. What are you trying to become in life, The White Swan or the Black Swan?