On Black Swan

I will preface this by saying that I should have known better.

I generally avoid any film with “thriller” anywhere in the descriptors, as I have no need for gross-outs, cheap shocks, people making obviously bad decisions (don’t go into that dark room, you moron!), or shaky hand held cameras.  I understand that many people thoroughly enjoy the genre.  I’m just saying that I don’t.

But I got suckered into this one.  It has a knockout cast, I heard good interviews with some of the filmmakers, and the reviewers have been going absolutely gaga over Natalie Portman’s performance.  Moreover, Dear Roommie asked if I wanted join her and a friend for Mexican food and a movie, so how could I refuse?

It was, without question, the most messed up movie I have ever seen.  I say this having watched Requiem For a Dreamtwice.  At least Requiem has drug abuse to excuse the mind-breaking terror.  Black Swan is simply the product of the mind who thought a Swan Lake allegory featuring a paranoid schizophrenic ballerina would make for a really engaging film.

Now don’t get me wrong – the execution was excellent.  Portman had me grinding my teeth in sympathetic anxiety within the first thirty seconds, the visual styling with all the nifty mirror tricks was stunning, and I absolutely believed every corner of the set, the horrifically awkward relationships between… well, everyone, and the cringe-inducing acts of self-mutilation.  But it is highly abnormal that I find relief in the scene showing a character vomiting – because it’s only vomit this time.

I’m really not sure what I was expecting to see, but I got Center Stage meets American Psycho.

Fortunately, we returned home with enough time yet this evening for some palate cleansing.  We’ll be spending the remainder of the evening singing along to the Muppets until the creepy goes away.


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