Black Swan…is painful.

Many of us who love Tchaikovsky’s  Swan Lake know of how the beautiful princess Odette is turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s spell. To break the spell, Odette needs true love, which she does find in the form of a handsome prince. But the sorcerer and his daughter, Odile, trick the prince into believing that Odile is Odette and Odile successfully seduces him. Heartbroken, Odette finds freedom in death. (Of course, the animated Swan Lake I saw as a kid gave me a happy ending so…)

Black Swan revolves around the story of Swan Lake, the ballet. Sweet Nina (Natalie Portman) and alluring Lily (Mila Kunis) compete for the position of the ballerina who plays both Odette the White Swan and Odile the Black Swan. While Nina can channel the White Swan perfectly, the ballet’s director, Thomas (Vincent Cassel), thinks she lacks the passion to dance the Black Swan’s uninhibited routines. As Nina prepares for the daunting role, she ultimately loses herself and lets the Black Swan take over….

Has anyone here ever seen the movie Grave of the Fireflies (火垂るの墓)? A lot of people who’ve seen it agree that it was a very beautiful anime, but they can’t bear to watch it again. I said the exact same thing about Black Swan. This isn’t a tearjerker, though. This is pain in its purest form. I went into the cinema being all bubblegum genki and went out of there with a heavy chest, accompanied by labored breathing and the desire to run a stake through my heart. If you have been feeling depressed, please do not even attempt to watch this.

(Or as my fellow RPGamer Lia would say: “See a feel-good movie afterward.” I turned to The Wallflower for my much needed laughs.)

Director Darren Aronofsky‘s work is a poetic masterpiece, as he made strategic use of visual metaphor to capture the struggling emotions of a tragically disturbed ballerina. Portman’s and Kunis’ acting were just as powerful as the visuals. The emotions they evoked are so raw in their dualities that they just hurt so damn much…

I have nothing but praises for this thought-provoking film.

I just don’t want to see it again.

Official Trailer:


  1. yaptus

    February 27, 2011 at 10:03 am

    I just watched Graveyard of the fireflies T.T and that's my least fave Ghibli film I've ever watched, not bec of animation but because of the story. Too tragic for me T.T was planning to watch black swan tonight with my sis, thanks for the warning and review, miss ! 😛

  2. skysenshi

    February 27, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Watch it pa rin. It's really a beautiful movie. But prepare happy movies.

  3. Lia Espina Lopez

    February 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Try watching Requiem for a Dream. Also left me depressed for a couple of days.

  4. John Ray Cabrera

    February 28, 2011 at 11:05 am

    i haven't watched the film yet but from your and my friend's review(, it seemed to have so much psychological and emotional gravity.

  5. skysenshi

    February 28, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Yup. I know about the aches and pains of ballet dancers, since being on tippy-toes all the time can cause major foot damage. But as with any performing artist, you can get carried away because of a role. Remember what happened to Heath Ledger?

  6. Will

    March 6, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I have to admit I've watched Black Swan last 2010 pa and it was a very amazing viewing experience. I've seen Grave of the Fireflies some years ago and it simply went straight to my list of best films of all time. 🙂

  7. skysenshi

    March 6, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Oh yes, those two are really great films. 🙂

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