Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We all know the story. Virginal girl, pure and sweet, trapped in the body of a swan. She desires freedom but only true love can break the spell.

Her wish is nearly granted in the form of a prince, but before he can declare his love her lustful twin, the black swan, tricks and seduces him. Devastated the white swan leaps of a cliff killing herself and, in death, finds freedom.


I went to see Darren Aronofsky film Black Swan over the weekend and really like it. I originally wanted to go and see it because as during the week I was looking up reference images of Mima from Satoshi Kon's Perfect Blue for a future cosplay and read an interesting article about Black Swan bearing major resemblance to Perfect Blue. I looked up Black Swan and found the storyline enticing a young girl struggles to be perfect at what she loves and she battles with identities. I agree with the majority on this one that this film is a master piece and is very different when you compare to films that come out today.

However the film was not like Perfect Blue at all but similar to it as it was a psychological horror and shows the stress ballerina performers have to deal with, this could be argued as over exaggerated so I am neutral. At the very start of the film, the main character, Nina played by Natalie Portman practices really hard doing her passion a ballerina dancer and becomes under pressure. She copes with this by starving herself, cutting herself and has bulimia. Nina’s dream is to play the Swan queen and she will do all she can to get this role, even if it comes down to letting her coach feeling her up to bring out her dark and erotic side, even getting to the point of character obsession, letting the character take over her. This blog is not a review of the film but I am expressing why I really like this film. Some may argue that the film was OTT with the gore scene but to me it was quite realistic. The film is about how a weak human can become so obsessed with perfection, a thing that can easily affects us humans. At the start of the movie, Nina is weak, obeying her mother and is innocent and as the film goes on her personality becomes darker, she becomes more erotic, more violent towards her mother as she gets in the way of her dream and goes out of control. She battles with her identity going from innocent white swan to devilish black swan. Nina's rival Lilly plays an important role here, the film has many symbolism and Nina and Lily are polar opposites of each another, Nina being the white innocent swan and Lily being the black deviant swan, seducing Nina.

I really liked the film from cosplayer’s point of view or from a costumer. I am drawn to characters that battle with their identity or have split personalities. I love the Black swans costume and make up but I love Nina’s character, innocent, pure versus dark and deviant. I would like to make the black swan as a future cosplay which would be down the list. As I mentioned about character obsession that is what made me really reflect myself from the movie. I wonder is it normal or a frequent thing that cosplayers can become obsessed with the characters they play in which the character takes over. I look at myself at times and wonder. ;p

The film was epic and very artistic and it reveals the fantasy world Nina lives in being Swan lake and her conflict with reality. She fears being replaced by her rival Lilly like earlier in the movie, Nina replaced Beth who was a great dancer that Nina looked up to when she got to the age that ends a dancer’s career. Beth then became a nobody and that is what Nina fears so she becomes obsessed with being perfect. The film was strange and really had that anime, Requiem for a Dream feeling. Similar to Neon Genesis Evangelion and other psychological mediums, the movie haunts you and leaves you thinking about the scenes and characters long afterwards… What I loved most about the move was the very last scene Nina says in the movie, lying on the stage in front of millions of people, blood pouring out of her stomach with a smile.

I felt it. Perfect. I was perfect.

Quotes I liked from the film and scenes;

Nina: I had the craziest dream last night about a girl who has turned into a swan, but her prince falls for the wrong girl and she kills herself.

Nina: I just want to be perfect.

Tomas Leroy: The only person standing in your way is you.

Nina: Beth! I'm so sorry to hear you're leaving the company.
Beth Macintyre: What did you do to get this role? He always said you were such a frigid little girl. What did you do to change his mind? Did you suck his cock?
Nina: Not all of us have to.

Beth Macintyre: You fucking whore! You're a fucking little whore!

Thomas Leroy: I got a little homework assignment for you. Go home and touch yourself. Live a little.

Nina: Beth's such a beautiful dancer.

Thomas Leroy: You could be brilliant, but you're a coward.
Nina: I'm sorry.
Thomas Leroy: Now stop saying that! That's exactly what I'm talking about. Stop being so fucking weak!

Thomas Leroy: Every dancer in the world wants your role.
Nina: No, this is different. She's after me. She's trying to replace me!

Beth Macintyre: Perfect? I'm not perfect. I'm nothing.

Erica: This role is destroying you.

Nina: I can't? I'm the Swan Queen, you are the one who never got the part!

Erica: What happened to my sweet girl?
Nina: She's gone!

Nina: I had the craziest dream last night. I was dancing the white swan.


  1. I saw this a couple of weeks back when I was visiting home.

    I really quite enjoyed it. Well, to be honest, it almost lost me in a few places, particularly around the middle.

    I loved the acting, however. I thought every role was played exceptionally well, particularly Natalie Portman.

    The film was superbly structured, and the ending genuinely moved me. Even if it was a bit slow and ploddy in the middle, the ending made up for it.

    Great stuff.

  2. Yeah it was amazing. I really applied it to my cosplay and hope that I would never turn into Nina.