So. I fanally saw BLACK SWAN.
And except for the hot, hot women playing the two lead female roles and the guy from (the under-seen and under-rated) BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF playing the ONLY male role, MOULIN ROUGE was a way better take on the musical-based tragedy genre. I mean, there were some spectacular moments in the movie that I’m going to definitely watch again to see how they were done (was it digital bullshittery or clever mirror placement that made sure we never saw the camera, even when we should have?), but many of them were overwhelmed by the obviousness of the choices that Aronofsky made in the symbolism. Really.
The rest of this review is now past the break because it kept growing to the point where it was awkward to keep everything above the fold. Thanks for understanding. And if you don’t want my opinionated take (and probably a spoiler or two), don’t click through.
Okay, you’re here now. Sorry.
So how clear was it in the first couple of scenes when Portman puts on that so-pink-it’s-white trench coat that she’s the “white swan”? …And as the 2nd act came to a close and she started (by dressing in charcoal, by the way) to get darker and darker, wardrobe-wise, that she was becoming the “black swan”? You haven’t seen so blatant a color scheme choice since the “good guys wear white” days of the spaghetti western. Weak. What’s worse is that you can see the stain of creative meetings all over that type of decision.
And mirrors? Really? How many mirrors did herr director have to jam into every shot before he figured we might get the point? So there are two swans, right? Yeah. And two Portmen? Yup. Let’s make sure that we see two of everyone, literally, because we wouldn’t want anyone to miss our fucking brilliant symbolism here. So mirrors. In. Every. Shot. At least until we break one at the end – that’ll really hit home. Fuck.
And the delectable Mila Kunis playing the real-life (maybe!) foil to doppel-portman? Meh! The second she pops into frame, you knew that was going to be the case. You even sighed a little. How someone can make you a little sad to see a hot girl in a movie is beyond me, but that’s not a skill that should be brought to a movie set. I would have minded a little less if they’d at least owned up to it. When Cassel’s character says to n-port (after she “oversleeps” and gets to rehearsal late) “go warm up” she HAD to take a line out of Kunis’ book and say “I’m ready” or whatever flippant bullshit Kunis said to Cassel in her second scene. But it’s like they forgot act I and just didn’t bother. Weak. Couldn’t we have given Kunis something to do other than be a not-veiled version of Portman? I mean, I guess I should just be happy that it wasn’t all Parent-Trap-style multi-Portman.
Anyway, in the pantheon of shows-within-shows, BLACK SWAN doesn’t sit on a high perch, at least in my opinion. And fucking up a movie where two super hot chicks get it on is unforgivable.