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Black Swan English - Research Paper Example

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Black Swan The painful, beautiful vulnerability that characterizes Natalie Portman’s performance captures the tone of this dark gem of a movie. She is Nina Sayers, a young and ambitious ballerina determined to land the plum role of the lead character in the ballet classic, “Swan Lake”…
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Black Swan English Research Paper
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Download file to see previous pages It is not only Natalie Portman’s acting that grabs the audience. The film is a virtual acting tour de force with all of the actors turning in spectacular performances. Barbara Hershey as Nina’s mothering has managed her role with aplomb. She does not fall into the temptation of taking over the stereotype of the pushy mother with her own issues to resolve, who sees in her own daughter’s success, the success she could not have. There is enough rawness and originality in the character of Barbara Hershey to make us believe that we are seeing that character for the first time. Mila Kunis is darkly and richly sensual. A scene between Nina and Lily is suggestive of lesbian sex, but it is well-crafted and artistically-executed. Winona Ryder’s role was perhaps a satire of her own career – the has-been ingenue, the doted upon pet that is now no more. If there is one thing that is disappointing about the acting in the movie, it is in the character of Vincent Cassel, who plays the director with lascivious designs on Nina. In contrast to the textured characters played by the female characters, Cassel’s Thomas Leroy is two-dimensional. The cinematography was dark and gritty, with enough claustrophobia to mimic Nina’s transformation. As she finds herself being smothered further and further by the “Black Swan” inside of her, we experience the same sense of terrifying asphyxiation through clever cinematography and deft use of lighting. The musical score also helped to convey the sense of darkness and increasing despair, although in parts, the use of the Swan Lake music was a bit too heavy-handed in parts: one feels as if he or she is being manipulated to feel something, to react in a particular way. The editing of the movie is flawless, and one can see the expertise of the director as he recreates through visuals the complex relationship webs between the characters. There is Nina and Lily, dancing rivals locked in a complicated friendship with sexual undertones. There the relationship between Nina and her mother, a relationship where both are prisoners: the mother, by regrets and unattained dreams of the past, and the daughter, by the relentless ambition of her mother that she has come to appropriate as her own. And then of course, there is Nina and Thomas, mentor and mentee, young ingenue and manipulative professor, Pygmalion and his Galatea, dance partners, lovers. The movie was also replete with cinematic metaphors: the rash that begins small and then grows and festers on Nina’s body until it becomes the beginnings of black feathers as a metaphor for transformation, the pink-cupcake-and-doily theme in Nina’s room as a metaphor for the her child-like innocence and fragility, but some people might say, forced infantilization by her mother who demanded that she remain breathlessly feminine. And then of course, there is dance as a metaphor, the graceful (and sometimes graceless) negotiations and dynamics of human beings within relationships, tiptoeing and smoothly sailing sometimes, but at other times, spinning with frenetic movement and a raw, primal violence that consumes the partner and ultimately the dancer herself. It ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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