Friday, May 6, 2011

Black Swan (One of the most odd Cliffhangers?)

After watching Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, I still have many questions. What was hallucinated was Lilly actually killed in Nina's dressing room?

First, a summary of Black Swan. 
Nina (Portman) is a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her obsessive former ballerina mother Erica (Hershey) who exerts a suffocating control over her. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side - a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.

Black Swan was an eye-opener for me. My brain is still itching if you know what I mean. Black Swan made me realize that this one something can be overwhelming  for people, for Sayers it was being the Swan Queen and trying to find perfection for Thomas Leroy and her estranged mother. Sayers quickly became obsessed with the role, taking dire action in making it her best performance of her career. She suffered from a great deal of anxiety and pressure, which every dancer has or will in one time or another in the span of their career. Sayers and Lilly were polar opposites. Sayers this uptight frigid girl who wanted nothing less then to be perfect, which kept her from living. Lilly, on the other hand, was a calm, go with the flow type dancer who could share a smile with the world.
The film does leave questions unanswered for its captivated audience and even the characters themselves. Towards the end of Act II in Swan Lake, Nina finds Lilly in her dressing room preparing to become the Black Swan. Lilly was chosen as Nina's alternate, much to Nina's dismay. Nina was then transformed into the grievous person. She attacked Lilly and stabbed her with a shard of glass from the mirror which hung from her wall. Yet, minutes later Lilly was congratulating her by her door, saying that she was perfection. 
Nina then found she had stabbed herself with the shard of glass from the mirror, and pulled it from her abdomen. She finished the performance, seeing her mother in the audience, and took the leap of faith,  but died soon after. 
There are still questions in my's that can't be answered and some I may not want answered. Why did Nina turn into the Black Swan? I believe that she was always the Black Swan, it being a part of her she had never really been in touch with at all do to her suffocating mother who controlled ever aspect of her life. The Black Swan was a source of power of control for Nina, something she had never come to terms with until now. I do think that there were times when Lilly was also the Black Swan, being the one who seduces those who want , but do not possess control. 
Did Nina really die? The old one did. She felt it. Perfect. 
This film is really hard to explain seeing as how we do not know what was real and what wasn't. Everyone has to make that choice for themselves, like Nina has to make the choice of being in control. Dark dismal control. She had to spread her wings. Black as they be. 

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