The Black Swan

Just finished watching the movie Black Swan. If you did not know, It was one of the movies nominated for Academy awards last year. The movie did not win the Best Picture award, but its lead performer, Natalie Portman, won Best Actress award for her role as a ballerina. If ever there was a role that deserved an Oscar, its this one.

The entire story focuses solely on her role as the White and Black Swan in a classical Balled. She works hard, to the point of breaking herself, both physically and emotionally, and but she could never reach the level of performance she wants. As she puts it, she just wants it to be ‘perfect’. It comes with a cost.

The play’s conductor, under whom she works, tells her that she is too stiff, focusing on the technique too much. He says, she must feel the part, absorb the music and experience what the White and Black swans go through in the ballad. The ballad’s story is about twin sisters of exceptional beauty each trapped inside a body of a swan, one black and one white. They can be freed only by a prince’s true love. The Swans’ story is of romance, hardship, betrayal and, ultimately, tragedy.

Portman, as Nina, struggles with feeling those emotions while barely keeping up with the crushing pressures of the expectations that everybody has on her. Throughout the story, she at the verge of losing it. She pleads, loathes, fears and envies something that she cannot yet identify and all she knows is that she has to perform. The opening night looms large. She is at the point of no return and we all know it. Either she will perform or she will fail; either way, it will be extraordinary.

The ballad opens and she turns in quite a performance, but it is not something that we expect. She performs on stage, and off stage, merging reality with make belief, not knowing when to act and when to be raw, she finally embraces both the swans, in art and in real life. Among the thunderous applause in the distant, she does not know if they are real or imaginary until the very end. She finds her perfection in a whirlwind of chaos. By then the curtains have already fallen. Everything merges into a blinding flood of light.

There is nothing in this movie, except Natalie Portman, as Nina. She carries the entire story and in the end, you are really left with a disturbing pain. And a lingering sadness.

It made me wonder what is greatness and what is the point of it?

[Post: 97 of 365] [Days Missed: 35]
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