Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I don't know if I liked it...

Last weekend, I went to see Black Swan.  If I had to categorize it, well, I'd probably lose my job.  I saw a review of it in a magazine (sorry, I can't remember which one!), and they called it a "psychosexual ballet thriller." Um.  Is there another movie in that category?  Because I can't think of one.


I still can't decide if I enjoyed the movie or not.

Here's the deal: I wasn't a big fan of the cinematography. There was a lot of hand-held, bouncing around type shots, and I don't do well with those on a big screen.  They just mess with my head and make me want to close my eyes.  However.  They really contributed to the whole 'descent into madness' thing that was going on, so I understand the choice to do it that way.

There were a bunch of things that happened in the movie that made me cringe.  I'm trying not to give away any spoilers, but suffice to say that there were several instances of bloody body parts (such as ballerina feet - although Natalie Portman's feet weren't nearly as disgusting as most ballerina feet) that made me feel a little icky. Or a lot icky.  Again, though, I'm pretty sure that was the reaction that the director was going for, so it worked.

The choreographer/artistic director's accent reminded me a lot of what I had seen of Andre Lewis, the artistic director for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, so it made the character more realistic to me. Of course, all I've seen of M. Lewis was his pre-show talks, so please don't interpret this as me claiming that M. Lewis is ANYTHING like the character in the movie.  From what I've seen of him, M. Lewis is a very respectable man, and I think he's got a remarkable vision for the Ballet.

The movie was much more sexual than I had expected, but it wasn't gratuitous - it all served to move the story forward, or to reveal more about the characters.  The ending... well, I'm still not sure how I feel about that.  I'm a bit confused about the physiological possibility of it.  But hey, it's art, so I'll accept it.

I liked the movie.  I liked the plot, I liked the characterization, I liked how I got drawn in.  I LOVED that the Swan Lake music was used throughout the whole thing, even in the Chemical Brothers song in the club scene.

I'm just not sure I enjoyed it.  There were a lot of cringing moments, and a lot of things jumping out from behind people (which I don't like).

But it was good!  I think that, if I were more of a fan of thrillers, I would definitely have enjoyed it.  As it is, I will settle for "I liked it."  And I'll probably watch it again, except next time, it will be on my TV, with all the lights on.

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