“Black Swan” pairs beauty with horror

Black Swan pairs beauty with horror


Rachel Dinsmore, Multimedia Editor

A haunted ballerina leaves audiences shaken as she works her way toward fame in the beautiful but disturbing thriller “Black Swan.”

“Black Swan” brought out a lot of emotions for me. This included hiding behind my hands, cringing, staring in horror, hiding behind my hands again and clutching the armrest in a death-grip. “Black Swan,” which can be deceptive as a ballet movie gave me chills.

Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), whose life is completely controlled by dance, lives with her suffocating mother. She has danced in the corps of her company for years and is finally given the opportunity to dance as the Swan Queen in “Swan Lake.”

The Swan Queen, the principal role of the play, requires the dancer to be the innocent White Swan, which Nina perfectly portrays, and also the seductive Black Swan. Nina, who is obsessed with perfection, battles her inner control in her attempt to become the Black Swan.

The constant stress of perfection begins to affect Nina, and she begins suffering from delusions. Portman shines as uptight Nina who slowly begins to slide into insanity.

Portman’s co-stars also give brilliant performances.

Vincent Cassel plays Thomas Leroy, the director of the ballet. Cassel is perfect as the controlling, yet sensual director. Mila Kunis plays Lily, the new dancer toward whom Nina feels rivalry. The pair share a great chemistry filled with tension. These characters contrast Nina’s controlled life and what she must become.

The dancing in this film is beautiful. Portman and Kunis do most of their own dancing, which is also impressive. Both Portman and Kunis have some background in ballet, which helped them in their portrayals of their characters. Their hard work shows in the film.

“Black Swan” is rated R for good reason. The film contains many horrific and disturbing elements. Nina, driven to the brink from the Black Swan, believes she has feathers coming out of her skin and suffers injuries that are not really there.

In perhaps the scariest part of the entire movie, Beth (Winona Ryder), the ousted principal ballerina, stabs a fingernail file into her face repeatedly. The haunting and creepy score of “Black Swan” combined with these horror elements puts the audience members on the edge of their seats.

Nina becomes obsessed with the Black Swan to the point of insanity, transforming from the innocent girl that she was into a monster. “Black Swan” is a powerful psychological thriller.