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Review Black Swan (2010)

genre: thriller, drama

Reimagining The Swan Lake? Is that even close to a good idea? I am not so sure. And after having seen what all the fuzz was about I am still pondering what exactly Darren Aronofsky was trying to do. First off let me address the controversy surrounding the film especially to the supposedly daring sex scenes. Are you kidding me? Graphic? Most of the sex is heavily implied and you hear some moaning. If that counts for graphic these days then I must really be exceptionally broad minded. Grow up people! Were these sex scenes functional? Yes, they were. That much was obvious. It served to illustrate Nina's sexual repression or awakening. In fact all the signs and symbolism were pretty much clear. Which for me ruined a lot of the viewing experience. In a psychological thriller I expect to be surprised on numerous occasions through truly clever ways like good use of red herrings and misdirection or other methods. And I have to say Darren failed in that aspect completely. From the start I pretty much predicted how Black Swan would end. Although the hype promised some brilliant and innovative film making. Maybe I am cursed with having seen too many damn movies. And it could be because of that I expect too much. In my defense I can be very forgiving because I have seen so much and can appreciate a badly executed intention as much as a good one. Still I can't imagine that even the average viewer has not seen a similar plot before and would accept it as it is. The visuals and effects in a few scenes in the final part provided the most interesting scenes. For which you have to sit through 100 minutes of dullness and boredom. Too many other sequences missed to entice me or scare me or more important made me doubt about the character or the events. In some scenes I had several short bursts of déjà vu. Without realizing I was constantly reminded of this gem called Perfect Blue (1997) by Satoshi Kon. If you know that Darren bought the rights to Perfect Blue then it makes more sense. However I have to state that Perfect Blue and Black Swan for the most part can't be compared as they are very different in style. Personally Perfect Blue is without doubt the better psychological thriller. So my advice is skip this and watch that one in stead. 

In all fairness though Black Swan is not that bad however it simply is not as thrilling or suspenseful as promised. Same can be said about the dramatic impact. There barely is one because we don't get to know the characters and from what we see and learn it is hard to actually feel for them or even like them. Black Swan in my opinion is far too overrated to be called exceptional let alone be called a masterpiece.


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