Black Swan (film): Review & Analysis

Black Swan was released in the United States in December 2010. However, in Singapore, it only hits the cinema in February 2011. This psychological thriller would entrance you for its exotic features and dark atmosphere. It would leave you wondering on what really occurred in the story when reality and illusion started to blur in Nina’s world as she undergoes stress and pressure. Nina’s dream to become the Swan Queen haunted her and changes her drastically. The reserved and innocent 21 year-old ‘girl’ turned wild when she fought for perfection for the main role as the Swan Queen which requires the versatility to portray both the innocent, fragile White Swan and her darkly sensual, evil twin, the Black Swan. Nina is a perfect fit for the White Swan, while Lily, another dancer in the Swan Lake, has a personality that matches the Black Swan. When the two compete for the parts, Nina finds a dark side to herself. Despite the competition, Nina and Lily find themselves building up a relationship. Is Lily using Nina to deviate her from becoming the Swan Queen? Does Lily really exists or is it another mere delusion that portrays the other side of Nina?

I personally like how the movie makes use of sexuality to enhance the movie. Lily is definitely a party-goer and a sensual being. The carefree dancer was caught by Nina having sex with the Swan Lake teacher, Thomas, whom she him describes as ‘hot for a teacher.’ Is this Nina’s hallucination? Perhaps Thomas chose Lily for the main role in the end of the movie, when Nina was reported sick by her mother, as she gave him what he craves for unlike Nina who repelled at every seductive move Thomas made on her. Is the objective of Thomas’ actions towards Nina is to satisfy his hunger for lust or is he trying to shape her for the role as the Black Swan? Nina was forced to indulge in sexual activities to let loose of her rigid being for this role. She played with herself, as suggested by Thomas. She went clubbing with Lily, got high on drugs and admitted to her mom that she f***ed two men there. As far as Nina’s and Lily’s relationship goes, they found themselves sleeping together in bed in Nina’s room the night after they went clubbing. This event was proven to be false as Lily states that they only spent the night at the club together and teases Nina for fantasizing about her. Nina’s strong delusions are getting a better grip of her ‘crazy’ life.

The use of characters in this story is very significant. The depressed and mentally disturbed former Swan Queen implies the detrimental state of being in the position of the Swan Queen. This might reflects the condition of Nina after she was crowned as the Swan Queen. Nina’s overprotective mother might explain Nina’s reserved and compliant self. Does the fact of being a single parent explain Nina’s mother of being too protective towards her only daughter?

Towards the end of the movie, Nina kissed Thomas in front of the other dancers backstage her overwhelming performance on stage as the Black Swan. This shows how she has transformed from her old self.

Overall, I feel that this movie evoke a sense of horror and thrill to the viewers. The use of sexuality definitely spices up the movie. It made use of ambivalences which leaves viewers questions to ponder on. I think it suits the analytical minds and those who love to be left in suspense. Black Swan is definitely a movie worth watching!!!

Cast of Black Swan(film):

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