Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The Evil Twin
Black Swan, the new film by Darren Aronosky, is a mix of all sorts of camp and melodrama -- horror, ballet, crazy mother genre, bad teacher genre, and Swan Lake. Everyone knows the story of Swan Lake -- one ballerina must play both the White Swan and the Black Swan. Of course, all of us contain both of these sides and of course, most of us are defined more by one side than another. I'm a classic Black Swan, the darkness more apparent than the light. But Natalie Portman who plays Nina in the movie, is all White Swan -- a good girl to her core. She has to tap into her inner darkness to play the negative of the White Swan which leads her down some creepy roads having to do drugs, sex, and self-mutilation.
Nina's mother, a chilling Barbara Hersey, oversees every aspect of Nina's life. A tale of suffocating intrusive caretaking, Nina longs for perfection in her professional life in order to validate both her and her mother's life. I've known this type of girl my entire life and truth is, she is my negative. The longing for perfection, the anxiety-filled misery that accompanies it, well, when the music starts to swell and the metaphorical audience shows up, she shows up ready to take the stage and do whatever it takes to fulfill the dream, Nina's last words -- "It was perfect."