seriously i've never been beaten harder over the head by metaphors in my life. psychological drama for dummies. i went along, literally, excited to go to the cinema for the first time in a really long time (i have not been to a cinema since inception which is a whole other issue) and especially excited to go and see a mad mental story about natalie portman being a ballerina. now one of my lifelong best friends is an ex-ballerina, so this was especially fascinating to me. and i totally dig natalie portman most of the time too (moreso since seeing leon, which was sheer brilliance). so let's be clear, i did not go in with a big cinema-studies head on me thinking i was better than mainstream cinema: i was really, really excited.
my lovely blonder half lisa decided she would take me as a birthday date, as such, so we got loads of sweets and settled ourselves down for what we hoped was going to be an absolute brainmelt of a film. lots of psychological trauma, just the way i like it.
now there was psychological trauma. and some really gorgeous sets, particularly the staging of the ballet itself and the creepy child bedroom that nina lives in, and natalie portman not saying much but generally looking really worried and distraught, which was really convincing, i totally bought it. if you run into me at any time in the next few days ask me to do my 'worried natalie portman' face. it's mostly forehead. i mean she was good, i guess it was the misfortunate character she was playing really.
so, messing aside, it was kinda dull.
bar the couple of freako-moments with the fingernails and all (i have a bit of a phobia of loose fingernails) and the jumpy bits, it was really very normal. and mila kuniz? right fair enough, she's a total babe, but... she was just kind of playing a normal person. just a bit of a party girl, who happened to be a real good dancer. nothing special. so the fuss about her being AWESOME that i keep hearing? not buying it.
it was like paint by numbers psychological drama. i mean the fucking director of the ballet walks into the audition and tells you exactly whats going to happen at the beginning. oohho, you think he's just telling you the story of swan lake, but no, how clever, he's actually telling you the story of the film!! wow! i found that from that point on it was just basic metaphor after basic metaphor: it's about a girl who is ocd, anorexic, repressed and struggling with her sexuality. and you're smacked with symbols of this scene after scene after scene. really didn't need the pushy-dance-mam living vicariously through her daughter. really. too much, too much.
there's this moment at the climax of the movie where she's finally dancing the part of the black swan (fiiiiiinally) and her arms turn into wings and become swan wings: at this point it all got too much. oooh she's embraced the darkness in herself so she literally is a black swan! literally! i get metaphors i understand things
so, while my brain and eyes payed attention and appreciated a lot of the visual stuff, my fear sensors were not being alarmed. my heartstrings were not being pulled. i did not connect with a single one of them. maybe i just expected another requiem for a dream, maybe i just wanted to be scared and upset by it so much that i'd prepared myself for something much worse. maybe everyone talked about it so much that my expectations were unreasonably high and i was never going to enjoy it.
just thought i'd tell you. because it wasn't even a TERRIBLE MOVIE that you can walk around laughing about. i'd prefer to be taken to that depth than just left untouched.
you tried hard black swan, but i'm nursing a bruised jaw from being hit so hard with your very obvious plot devices.
approx 5/10. i mean go and see it if you haven't, ignore me like, i don't know anything. i just found it kind of... dull...
i have decided that 'underwhelming' is my word for this film. underwhelming and slightly annoying
EDIT 2: also, how cool is this poster?