Review Based on the Trailer: Black Swan

Jon Radice - 4A Chemical
Posted on: November 13, 2010

Readers from papers’ past know that many times I talk about essential first year movies that everyone seems to have on their hard drive by the time they’re done 1A. Fight Club is one of them, Boondock Saints is up there too. However, there is one movie, prevalent all around DC++ that stands apart, in tone and presentation. People that watched Requiem for a Dream know that it stands as one of the essential first year movies. The rise of tension that builds until the last 20 minutes is incredibly powerful, a true movie that puts you on the edge of your seat for the entire ride, a shocking, horrifying and in the end, a harrowing event. The director, Darren Aronovsky is a gem of a filmmaker; every single one of his films, including Requiem, Pi, the Fountain, and the Wrestler, has a unique feeling, one that is captured in a stunning fashion. Where Requiem and the Fountain exuded a style that was at times wondrous, Pi and the Wrestler gave the viewer a direct line into the life of the main protagonists. Black Swan, Aronofsky’s latest, seems to be the amalgamation of both sides.

Let’s get down to the basics. This movie stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, so right there, every guy should want to see it. It is set around the New York City Ballet company, so right there, every guy should want to avoid it. The trailer depicts a classic tale of envy, Portman as the shoo-in lead ballerina of the season’s top show ‘Swan Lake’ begins to get rattled when a newer, younger, more talented dancer (Kunis) begins to steal her thunder. It doesn’t stop there however, as Aronovsky loves to take a simple story and drive it home. Portman, sandwiched between her oppressive ballerina mother and the stress of a new star ready to take on her lead role spirals into her own pit of despair, and the thrilling climactic of the trailer has a visibly distraught Portman, blood shot eyes full of tears, staring at a single swan feather plucked from her increasingly ravaged back. The trailer allows for the tension to build quick and disturbingly, a great indication of the pace and chilling nature of the film. The film is classified as a Thriller / Horror, which is an interesting genre to set a ballet around. All of these nuances combined makes for a very intriguing movie. The trailer comes off very cold and sterile in the beginning, allowing for the viewer to feel that much more for Portman and her struggles. Grey haunts every cell of this movie, again adding to the rising tension that emanates from this film.

I’m sure I lost most people reading the article by trying to convince them that the world of jealous ballerinas is something not only interesting, but worth spending money on. Aronovsky’s films have always been one of the best movie experiences of the year, and this one looks to top all his others. This movie (outside of Toy Story 3 –I’m a softie for my childhood) has been my most anticipated movie of the year, and judging from the trailers, will be a gripping suspense movie similar to the much heralded Requiem. My only regret is that there is only one trailer to watch. So see it, go watch it, you’ll love it. If it’s not your cup of tea, would it be enticing if I told you there’s a Portman/Kunis lesbian scene? Well, there is, so at least go see it for that.

Black Swan hits theatres December 1st. Go see it.

PS - The reviews are in for Unstoppable- that stupid looking runaway train movie I reviewed last issue. Rottentomatoes has it at 86% fresh, meaning the critics loved that movie. I’m going to go hang myself now.