“The only person standing in your way is YOU. Let her go, lose yourself.”
I ended up watching Black Swan finally on Cinemax yesterday as I made some lunch. I know Natalie Portman won an Oscar for it and for some time my friends were telling me to watch it. Josh didn’t want to see it the other night because he wanted to watch something funny instead…I get it. Sometimes you have to be in the mood to watch something HEAVY.
Black Swan is heavy…I didn’t see parts of the beginning, I started watching it about 30 minutes into the film, but I got the jist of it right away. (Actually, as I type this I found the movie on demand again, so I’m watching the beginning as I type) Controlling and psychotic mother, pressure to be perfect in the ballet, scared that someone else is after her role and of course, in the ballet to be the Swan Queen to perfection she NEEDS to be the White Swan (light and sweet) and then be the Black Swan (dark and sultry, sexy and evil).
Now Lily her understudy…is the Black Swan personified, not so much the White though…
Some parts of the movie was freaking me out, because she’s losing her mind and things jump out at her, plus the color of the film is very dark so in essence I thought I was watching a horror film. But then I kind of sympathized with Nina…wanting to be perfect at what you do. At one point her director says, “Why are you so weak?!”….I’ve wondered about that myself many times….Why am I so weak?
I think I was mesmerized by Nina, because she’s a sweet girl, a ballerina, does what she’s told, doesn’t go out, listens to her mother. She’s feminine and loves pink and stuffed animals.
Curiously enough there is a lot of mirrors in this movie…maybe to symbolize her reflection at every stage of the movie. She’s always looking at herself, studying how she can be perfect until in the end, the image in the mirror starts to haunt her, the image in the mirror takes on a character of it’s own. Also I love how the director does a focus on the ballet shoes in the beginning…you have to distressed the shoe when it’s new to make it comfortable to wear. Symbolic I think of how pretty and new and fresh Nina is and how in the end she has to distress herself, wear herself down to be what she needs to be.
And the music…ohhh the music, I was raised on classical music because of piano lessons so Tchaikovsky’s music, Swan Lake…is breathtaking. The music moves the film into climaxes, chaos and triumph….music SHOULD do that 🙂 My mother had a music box that played Swan Lake when I was little.
“Perfection is not about control, it’s about letting go.”
The film ends maddeningly…horrifying and scary, like I didn’t know if I should hide or watch in fear. I watched in FEAR watching her hurt people, even thinking she killed someone, which I thought was fo’real…and just watching Natalie Portman’s face as she fears for her sanity…her face is really expressive in this film, you see her worry and obsess, worry and obsess and I felt like at any moment should would break like china…and she does break….she breaks into the black swan but in the process she had to kill sweet Nina inside her.
And that’s when I “got” it.
Have you ever wanted something SO bad…a dream…an ambition, a goal….and to reach that goal you have to divert from the path you’ve been walking comfortably on? But you are scared? You know at the end of the road that it is scary…but glory will await you there? The thing that you know will make you the most happiest, the thing that your soul has always wanted to do.
Yet in order to get there, you have to strip the self that you know…the comfortable self. You have to shut up the critics in your head, and shut up the doubts and critics around you, you have to know deep down you can do it, even if you cry inside thinking you may not make it…and not getting what you want could devastate you? But you could still live a comfortable life, just not the life you know that is meant for you.
“You could be brilliant, but you’re a coward.”
Nina’s journey in her madness was just to strip everything she knew of herself. Her mother, her frigidity, her control, her sweetness and stuffed animals, her rules and discipline. It was a process that made her emerge victorious in her performance of the Swan Queen except…the real Nina couldn’t handle it…she hurt herself to be what she inherently couldn’t really be.
Not all of us can kill the critic, who is our own self. I deal with all the time. I doubt my skills, my talent (if I have any), my drive. I wonder in my head if I really know who I am and what I want. Some people are so gifted at shutting up the naysayers and doing what they were meant to do…I’m not. I’ve been Nina, the White Swan…I grew up obeying, trying to make other’s dreams come true, thinking it would someday be MY dream too…but deep down it never was. When I left home after high school, that was when I let my Black Swan emerge and it was fun 🙂 for awhile…lol…the only one standing in our way…is ourselves. So true. 🙂
It’s an interesting movie, I like the crazy ending with the performance…it’s a heavy movie. Second look at it, it isn’t so spooky because I understand her madness now. I do like watching her character evolve though, to a dark place sure, but haven’t we all evolved into something bad and then good and continue to change all the time? Anyway, that was my take on the movie…I don’t think the movie is for everyone though…but I thought it was great!