While I finally thought that I’d settled on doing the Little White Lies competition brief, I’d still not actually seen any of the five films that they wanted illustrating! So I set about watching Black Swan, as I’ve been wanting to see it since it came out anyway.
Directed by Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan is a film about a ballet dancer who is pretty much a perfectionist. She wins the lead in “Swan Lake,” but whilst she is the perfect candidate for the White Swan, she isn’t free or impulsive enough to play the Black Swan. The harder she tries to fulfill both parts, the more unhinged she becomes.
When the film first opened up I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy it. I mean, ballet? But I was interested to find out what was going on the more the story progressed. What I found most interesting was how the pressure and play were affecting her psychologically. Her failed dancer mother smothered her. Her trainer pushed her extremely hard. Her colleagues resented her. Then she thought her new friend was trying to take over her. Splitting her life between the Black and White Swan had fractured her mind, and it was interesting to be part of the audience and be confused as to whether we were seeing things that were just in her head or was it really happening?
There were some really good subtle effects added, which were enhanced by some great camera shots. These were especially beautiful when the dancing was going on, but on the other end of the spectrum a more handheld approach came in useful for giving us that sense of unease and claustrophobia.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the film, and I’d recommend it to anyone who is interested in psychological thrillers. Don’t let the ballet put you off, it barely has anything to do with the film in general anyway!