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Black Swan

I enjoyed this film so much I watched it twice, once to absorb it and then again to dissect it.

Black Swan is a story of a frigid, delicate woman with a fragile state of mind who has a history of self harm and a vicarious mother, which would explain the self harm and perhaps the frigidity.

We are introduced to Nina, “a sweet girl” alarm bells are already ringing in my head as the insidious music tells me that she is heading for a fall. Then in blast’s Lily, who seems quite casual who is of course the diametric of Nina.

Nina builds a wall of trust in Leroy, the company director. We look on knowing him to be the lascivious male figure who shouldn’t be trusted. Nina sees her dreams realised as Leroy decides that she will be swan queen, a rather flippant approval. We see the downfall of her predecessor, and I wondered how long the new queen would reign.

Beth was Leroy’s “little princess” The prima ballerina of the corps. She shows herself as somewhat embittered to be passing on the role, we are told by Lily that Nina will be graced with the same title. Does Nina also want to have a romance with Leroy ? I don’t think so, maybe she needs something from someone. I do think Nina has other, bigger worries on her mind.

Swan lake is a beautiful story, only true love can break a spell. It annoys me however as it plants the idea in every young persons head that love equals a partner and that they will solve any problem you have. In reality, you have to solve your own problems before you can enter into a state of love and trust. Nina love’s to dance but her desire to be perfect blinds her to passion, until she is told that she needs passion to portray the queen’s darker character, and without that she won’t live out the role for long.

An interesting dimension of this film is the concept that there are females out there whose only desire in life is to undermine you and make you look like a freak, note to all, if you are paranoid it’s not just the one girl whose out to get you. And quite often it’s you whose to blame for any freakish behaviour. I worked out quickly that the Lily’s character was a split, in that she was real but that the hysteria of Nina’s character saw her as a Machiavellian Tiamat, so that is what we were shown. However I nearly missed the parts where Lily was a nice person.

I did enjoy the film, from the lesbian/masturbation scene which I understand to be a schizophrenic episode where Nina was absorbing the darkness Nina believed as Lily’s character, to Nina pulling quills from her skin as she slowly metamorphosed into the Black Swan. It’s rare to have such stark imagery in a film. But I really enjoyed watching the imagined transformation, as much as it upset me.

It is sad to observe how the desire to achieve your goal can send you off the edge, crashing into oblivion. And it is heartbreaking to watch such a delicate person become so obsessed to succeed that she sees no alternative but to emulate the swan queen’s demise. We’ve all been there, the possibly unobtainable, threatened to be whisked out from your grasp and you cling so desperately to any shred that you end up with cut, bleeding fingers and broken wings.

 

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