Holding up a mirror is an effective way to portray duality, whether revealing person ‘s true face or showing an image depicting what the rest of the universe sees. In Black Swan, frames are filled with reflections on the underpass, in a bathroom, inside a dressing room, or in the dance rehearsal space. Mirrors are besides frequently used in horror to increase tension, and Black Swan repeatedly uses this device as a way to create an faze ocular and as a weapon ( both literal and figural ) .
brooding surfaces reveal flaws, peculiarly if you look long enough at every blemish. In the competitive populace of professional ballet, mirrors line the rehearsal space in decree to help with operation. Nina Sayers ( Natalie Portman ) spends a batch of time focusing on her own image in ordain to become the best, but she is n’t the entirely one offering up critiques on her technique. In a world in which paragon is hard to achieve, it is slowly to lose yourself to the blackmail .
Nina ‘s dream is to play the jumper cable role in the New York City Company production of Swan Lake. A simplify version of the plat is given by Nina to a guy ( played by Sebastian Stan ) in a barricade, “ It ‘s about a girlfriend who gets turned into a swan and she needs love to break the spell, but her prince falls for the ill-timed female child so she kills herself. ” Her function as both the White and the Black Swans requires two very unlike interpretations .
Sleazy company director Thomas Leroy ( Vincent Cassel ) knows she is more than capable of delivering a flawless word picture of the careful perfection of the White, but the seductive side of the lapp coin is a challenge. In share, this is because Nina is trapped in an infantilized translation of her biography. alternatively of needing to break the enchantment of being a roll, she is trapped within the walls of her childhood bedroom .
Pink butterfly wallpaper, no lock on the door, and getting put to seam by her mother with a music box to lull her to sleep are all the signs of person who is a draw younger. It is besides a sign that this is not the first time that atmospheric pressure to be arrant has impacted her genial health. The lack of a lock and her mother ‘s concern about her rub are firm indicators that this is army for the liberation of rwanda from the first incident of this kind .
slowly apprehension builds throughout the film, as Nina ‘s quest for perfection causes her to unravel. Steadicam and handheld sequences not only give a front-row buttocks to the ballet, but they besides add to the claustrophobic and frantic aesthetic. In evoking the foolhardy standard atmosphere of Rosemary ‘s Baby, conductor Darren Aronofsky constantly keeps the audience in a state of suspense .
Seeing is believing, but the audience is n’t constantly informed about the veracity of an incident. risk does n’t come from those Nina thinks are trying to steal her function, but from within. She clocks a figure on the underpass at the begin of the movie before seeing the same person as she is walking home from rehearsal. Rather than the modern dancer who has barely joined the company, it is a version of herself dressed in dark colors with her haircloth down .
lily ( Mila Kunis ) is the new addition to the company who turns Nina ‘s world top down. Her dance form is less see, she ignores no-smoking rules and has an still that is opposite to Nina ‘s rigidity. In the right circumstances, they could be friends, but in this history, Lily is everything Nina fears. She is younger, more rel ax, and beneficial adequate to be her alternate. Kunis besides looks enough like Portman in tail or quick cuts, delivering a disturbing mirror persona that haunts Nina through to the dizzying climax .
Nina is an unreliable narrator, which allows Aronofsky to keep the hearing think when it comes to what is real. Her duplicate hangnail and subsequent shed blood is one such technique — it is impossible not to shudder when thinking about these scenes. Each time Nina sees the blood pool and she begins to pull, it is revealed there is nothing there, whereas the strike marks on her back are very real number. After it ‘s announced that Nina has been cast as the lead, person scrawls the give voice “ WHORE ” in lipstick on the bathroom mirror. It is n’t clear if it is real or if Nina was the one who did it — the latter is more likely .
When she returns the things she took from Beth ‘s ( Winona Ryder ) dressing room, the horseshoe tongue becomes a weapon of self-harm, as Beth repeatedly stabs herself in the face. Again, there is no confirmation whether this is imagined or actually happened but the theory that it is character of Nina ‘s psychosis surely adds up .
Beth represents the Ghost of Christmas Past, a bibulous vision of what happens when you are considered besides previous to perform. At the start of the film, Nina defends Beth when others in the company make bitchy remarks about how she is nearing menopause. however, when Beth accuses Nina of using her body to get this character, she meekly retorts that not everyone has to resort to that. Thomas calls his former lead his “ Little Princess, ” which is not only creepy but besides reduces her to that aforementioned childlike image. She is no long the fairest one of all, which is why she smashes the mirror in her dress room before she departs .
It besides explains why Nina sees Beth stabbing her boldness repeatedly in a moment of self-mutilation, flush if it did n’t happen. “ I was barely trying to be perfective like you, ” Nina tells the woman she has replaced. “ Perfect ? I ‘m not perfect. I ‘m nothing, ” Beth responds with a black indictment of a career that takes everything, before being tossed digression for the new glistening version .
At dinner with Lily — after Nina has defied her mother in a very ‘teenager stomps out of the house ‘ demonstration — she tells her frenemy of the “ little Princess ” nickname, which lily correctly thinks is “ so gross. ” As they hang out, it becomes clear up that Lily is deep in “ Cool Girl ” territory — she has a bare sexy circus tent in her pocket, her dinner is an extra bloody burger, and she does n’t have any qualms about getting wasted the nox before a big day at solve. Because we are seeing Lily through Nina ‘s eyes, it is hard to know whether this is an overstate adaptation ; in reality, she does n’t appear to be doing anything out of malice .
When Nina confronts her about their supposed romantic hook-up the night before, Lily has no mind what she is talking about, but facetiously asks “ Was I good ? ”
sexual activity plays an important function in Nina ‘s mental department of state because, like reasonably much everyone else, she is pretty repressed in this department. She is not a pure, but she does n’t have much privacy to complete the masturbation homework grant Thomas has set her. The first time she tries, she rolls over to see her ma asleep on a electric chair in her bedroom. It is a lurid moment that leaves the viewer equitable equally horrified as Nina at this intrusion of her privacy. late, when she starts to explore while in the bathtub, she ca n’t get into it and slides under the surface. Blood drips into the water and she opens her eyes to see her doppelgänger standing menacingly above her. When she finally loses herself in a moment of passionate passing, she believes she is hooking up with Lily, but her equal ‘s face morph into her own. alternatively of elation the follow dawn, she wakes up late and misses the begin of rehearsal with Lily taking her plaza on this occasion. It is n’t part of some grand scheme, the only sabotage here is self-inflicted .
The final act sees Nina having to escape the pinko bedroom prison with her ma as the gatekeeper. Erica Sayers ( Barbara Hershey ) is a admonitory fib, a version of the path not traveled as she gave up her dreams of being a dancer when she had Nina. By the time Nina gets past her mother, Lily is already in costume as the Swan Queen because Erica had called in ill for her daughter, another act of handling .
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Nina ‘s large moment is here, but her confidence takes a crushing blow when she is perturb during her turn as the White Swan and the Prince drops her. This is the depart of the routine she is meant to excel at. paragon has always been her driving force, so this is a crushing float. When she returns to her dress room, lily taunts her. She is already wearing the Black Swan costume and a competitiveness ensues, resulting in another smash mirror. Nina plunges a shard in her equal, but as the adjacent act is about to start she ca n’t do much to dispose of the body other than hiding it in the bathroom .
What follows is the best nina has ever been in a transformative moment — but when she returns to her snip room, shards of glass litter the deck, blood is pooling from underneath the door. The spell is broken when Lily stops by to congratulate her on the transcendent performance. She opens the toilet doorway to see an empty room, and when she looks down at her body she is the one with glass buried in her stomach .
But the show must go on and Nina is not going to let her crowning accomplishment mooring through her fingers, particularly after she embodied the passionate Black Swan with such conviction. After successfully completing the “ death scenery, ” everyone gathers to congratulate Nina, but the little amount of blood has spread and is visible to all. This is not a hallucination, but she is no longer concerned. She has achieved her dream ; like the affirm of the fib she is freed in death. But this is not a fagot narrative, and Nina is not a Snow White who gets to live happily always after .
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