....Much has been talked of this film and plenty written. Having said that, I have not actually read any reviews, but heard the word 'dark' bandied about a lot. And sure it is, but then the story it is portraying - Swan Lake - is a dark one in itself.
Director Darren Aronofsky, has taken that edge and twisted it in to a horror film. It seemed to me that the film overtly portrayed life imitating art - with Nina Sayers, (played by Natalie Portman), handed the role of Queen Swan.
Portman's performance held the required intensity and flawless beauty, but sometimes, like the scratches on her own back, was an irritant. Nina, (Queen Swan), is a ballerina with such focus, dedication and drive for perfection, that her life became a replica of the performance she craved to master - meaning a constant battle with the Black Swan within her.
The soundtrack, not just musically, but the sound engineering, was brilliant. Panting breath, raps of wind and more, all invading your inner ear, as your mind is messed with by the scene in front of you. The cinematography too made for an eery intensity from the start, even in the most mundane moments - something was always afoot.
In reaching the crescendo of the Swan Lake performance, we also reach the crescendo of the film, but not before a psychological twist and then turn. I really enjoyed it. I am not placed to say if the ballerina performances were passable, but the acting was top drawer. My only niggle was that at times it was in danger of slipping in to the slightly mock horror, (ie, some of the gory moments unintentionally bordered the hilarious), but managed to stay just on the right side. Well worth a watch.