Mindful Movie: The Black Swan

Published Thursday, 4 August 2011 by Sydney Sunny


The Black Swan is a physiological thriller about a dedicated ballerina Nina Sayer (Natalie Portman) chosen for the lead role in the ballet production of the Swan Lake. Nina is an innocent girl in her early 2os; she is still in a world of an innocent girl, the white swan. Once she gets the lead in the next ballet production. Nina finds herself under stress because of several reasons.
First, Nina’s most apparent reason for stress is just the simple fact of a having a new part that has over thrown the last leading ballerina, Beth. She feels all at once the confusion of congratulations and taunts. She can dance perfectly the role of the White Swan, but she struggles to portray the Black Swan’s role. Everyone gives her two commants, two suggestions – they are two faced. Slowly, her world collapses as she feels as if she has been betrayed by everyone. She trusts no one.

As she works on her role, the instructor, Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) , abuses her. He throws on her mental abuse and sexual abuse. He takes advantage of her innocents to try to shape her and have fun with her. Even with Thomas’s abuse, she is enchanted by him. He is the evil wizard. She wants the part so badly, and she wants Thomas to accept her. Innocently, she wants to be Thomas’s shining star – his “little princess”, like Beth.

Also, Nina’s work for the leading role pushes her to realize that she is not perfect. She struggles with the role of the Black Swan. She constantly says, “I just want to be perfect.” When Nina fails to be perfect, I think, it is common to see her over a toilet. Because of her will to be perfect, her many “mind” problems comes into light. Her obsession of perfection caused her to go crazy. Like most young innocent people looking up to someone, Nina saw perfection in Beth. Also, her mother taught her about perfection as a reachable goal. Nina, never losing her innocent, thought that she could be perfect, which as someone grows learns there is no such thing as pure perfection.  Thus, Nina is driven mad.

Finally, Nina tries to release her stress by going out with Lily (Mila Kunis). Lily is an enemy, friend, or perhaps, a lover. Thomas points out to Nina that Lily was perfect, “Watch the way she moves. Imprecise but effortless. She’s not faking it.” Thus, Lily becomes a possible enemy to Nina because Thomas has his eye on Lily. Also, because of Nina’s obsession of perfection, she is natural drawn to Lily. My belief is her sexual abuse lead to her want for the drug induced sexual act with Lily. Nina had moved past admiring her perfect idols, but to the gritty lust for a perfect idol.

In the end, Nina loses her innocence.  Like all teenagers and young adults, innocence is lost, ideal perfection is lost and learning to live with their problems in a way that look effortless becomes the key to the new perfection.

My last thoughts: Three words describing Black Swan are Elegant, Gothic, and Lolita. The ballet dancing is truly elegant, the dark bloody plot is gothic, and the innocent fashion is lolita.


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