Monday, December 20, 2010

Black Swan

As a wrestler in high school, I never understood the mentality of the athletes who would wrestle in the 103 lb. weight class: starving themselves to maintain weight while going through a grueling practice. They must have done it for the roar of the crowd or the thrill of victory (though I'm still not sure it was worth the sacrifice). Black Swan is a film about a ballerina that understands this mentality and captures ballet brutally on the screen. It focuses on a dancer named Nina (Natalie Portman) gearing up for the lead in Swan Lake. As she morphs into the part of the role for which she is not fully qualified, the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur as she faces a rivalry from a newly arrived dancer (Mila Kunis) and pressure from her instructor (Vincent Cassel). Black Swan is another hit from dark director Darren Aronofsky, and understands that dark side of sports that so many competitors are drawn to.