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Black Swan: Movie Review

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My recent viewing of Black Swan has truly left me in shambles. The creative and deceitful cinematography showcased in this film makes you question the very reality you experience. This thriller will surely satisfy anyone feeling the need to be shaken up. 

Natalie Portman portrays a ballerina whose insanity spirals throughout the movie. She pushes the boundaries of her body, driven by her compulsion to be perfect. The plot travels through her inappropriate relationship with her dance teacher, Thomas, and a complicated acquaintanceship with a ballerina new to her studio, Lily, played by Mila Kunis. Portman’s character, Nina, battles her obsessive mother through her blossoming career, a conflict distinguished by her taking on the role of Swan Queen in Swan Lake. As she unravels into the role of the “black swan,” who is supposed to be seductive and out of control, her life starts to reflect that of the character. 

The new girl, Lily, takes a liking to Nina, and they enjoy a night out– this will represent a turning point for Nina. Her growing comfort with the idea of not abiding by her mother’s every order kick-starts the rapid decline of their relationship. The next morning, she oversleeps and shows up to find her supposed friend Lily filling in for her at rehearsal. Nina realizes that there is no room for friends when you are striving for success. The tragic downfall of an earlier ballerina, Beth, forewarns Nina of what future lies ahead of her. She starts to notice similarities between Thomas’s relationship with her and his with Beth. Consequently, Nina withdraws from most relationships and becomes isolated, causing her to be vulnerable to the disturbing realities that previously were lying dormant in her mind. 

The artistry in this movie depicts the raw experience of hallucinations and the fabrication of reality. Do be warned that there are disturbing images and gore, but Portman’s character’s glorification of torturing her body for the euphoria of perfection brings to life a feeling common to so many. 

This film can be felt deeply by the audience due to its multifaceted plot. It unfolds the inner workings of mother-daughter relationships, grooming, the cost of success, and mental illness. It narrates the vehement forces of love, even when you don’t want to confront it. Not only does this apply to the romantic relationships in the movie, but it even stands true with Nina and her mother. Her mother is controlling and manipulative, but because of the ever-persisting love she has for Nina, she can’t help but go out of her way to please her. 

Even though this movie may not be suitable for everyone, sometimes the most effective way of conveying a message is by making it so obnoxiously honest that it forces the viewer to decipher the message on a more fundamental level than shown.

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About the Contributor
Sarah Rothman
Sarah Rothman, Opinion Editor
Hi! I'm Sarah, a co-editor of the opinions section this year! I love to write and am grateful for the opportunity to share it through The Abingtonion! I love science, music, fashion, and movies. I love connecting with people over shows and artists, and look forward to growing the opinions section of the 2023-24 school year!

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