Black Swan: dancing with psychosis

Black Swan: dancing with psychosis

Black Swan was one of the most acclaimed films of the year 2010. It allowed Natalie Portman to obtain the Oscar of the best actress and generated a strong controversy with her double. The double of Portman argued that the Oscar was not deserved because it was she who danced most of the time. The director, Darren Aronofsky, praised Portman's work and said she was only replaced in the most difficult scenes.

Leaving aside this controversy, Oscar deserved or not, Black Swan we offer a ballet on the big screen. Athriller psychological backgroundSwan Lake. Natalie Portman dazzles at all levels because her role is much more than that of a dancer. This is a complex character suffering from mental disorders that will be more visible as the date of inauguration of the ballet approaches. 

Portman offers a really convincing character, which captivates us from the first moments.Let's not forget that the actress has a degree in psychology at Hardvard University. This knowledge probably helped him prepare his role.

The plot revolves around Nina, a young dancer who lives with her mother and works for a ballet company.The company wants to open the season with a renewed version of the Swan Lake. Nina wants to get the role. She is a very disciplined, methodical and demanding dancer. The role however requires a more extravagant and wild side. The film evolves in parallel with the ballet and will plunge us into the personality and the upheavals of the protagonist.

"Music, photography and dance stand out from the beginning, draw the viewer's attention and envelop us in a unique atmosphere, charged with a tension that will increase in a crescendo until its brilliant final."
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Discover Nina

We discover Nina's personality as the movie progresses.His mother was also a dancer. She did not, however, achieve the same success as her daughter. She gave up everything to take care of the latter. We do not know anything about his father. Her mother raised her alone and is extremely protective of her.

Nina has no friends. She simply interacts with her ballet companions.Dance is the only thing that matters in his life. Entering her room, we meet a very childish space, in pale tones and adorned with countless stuffed animals. It looks like a little girl's room, someone who has not grown up yet. This piece is a reflection of the world of Nina, a very dependent young woman, controlled by her mother who has not yet reached maturity.

His mother instilled in him a passion for dance. She may have also projected on her all her frustrations.Nina also makes her mother feel that she has never come to anything, that she has never gone that far. The conflict that will arise between them finds here its raison d'être.

Nina never disobeyed her mother. She has always lived by being extremely controlled, never had the ability to decide for herself. This is the reason whyNina has developed a complex personality. She pays for her frustrations and helplessness: she hurts herself and gets sick. Her mother knows these problems perfectly, controls the scratches on her back, cuts her nails so that she does not hurt herself, and watches that she does not spend too much time in the bathroom.

Nina was not a happy child. Eit is nothas not experienced healthy development. Her mother over-protected her and also projected her frustrations on her. All this made Nina an emotionally unstable person. This instability will reach its peak when the company offers him a role that will shake his own personality. Nina is obsessed with perfection. She will do everything possible to achieve it, even if it is harmful to her health.

Black Swan, a dangerous dance

Swan Lake tells the story of Odette, a princess who was turned into a white swan by a spell. She needs the love of a prince to break the latter. Love that ultimately fails because its rival intervenes: the black swan.Nina's company decides to reinvent history a little bit. The role of the two swans lies with the same person.

Nina seems to fit perfectly with the role of the white swan, but not with that of the black swan. She lacks spontaneity, she is too disciplined. As in Tchaikovsky's work, Nina has a rival, Lily. This is another dancer of the company. An undisciplined and carefree young woman who fits perfectly with the role of the black swan. Nina's personality will then be destabilized. She will begin to be obsessed by her rival.This obsession will highlight the most unstable and darkest part of his personality.

Nina's personality will dissociate as we enter the ballet and know the main characters. It can not recognize itself or differentiate the real from the dreamed.

Mirrors will play an important role in the film. They present us the distortions that Nina appreciates, the confusion and the most critical moments of the film. The mirrors have indeed a powerful symbolic charge. According to Lacan, we recognize ourselves in the mirror, in the other. Both swans live in Nina. They will be unable to reach a balance, a harmony.

Nina does not have a father figure, her mother controlling everything. It is clear that its development has not been optimal, that its fragile personality has many shortcomings.The entry of the rivalry and the search for the dark side that the role requires will reveal the first symptoms of psychosis at Nina. Nina will engage in an internal struggle with the two swans that live in her, while the relationship with her mother and those around her will be more and more difficult.

The other side of ballet

In addition to the demands of role and rivalry with Lily, Nina must face a less friendly face of ballet and the world. She had never had such an important role. She was not aware of the darkness around her. On her night out with Lily, we see that Nina totally ignores the world of night and drugs. Having never been exposed to these situations and having always been under the protection of her mother, she is unable to control herself, to decide for herself, to know what is best for her.

We also see that the relationships are not entirely healthy within the company itself.The dancers are replaced when they reach a certain age. Rivalry is present in each of them and they are capable of anything to have a role. In addition, the most powerful men, such as the director of the company, can abuse and put pressure on the dancers. Something that reminds us of the movementMe Too, now present in the world of cinema.

The character of Nina also has a great similarity with Norman Bates, protagonist ofPsychosis, especially in his relationship with the mother.Overprotection and the darkness of the entertainment world lead Nina to imbalance, instability and self-destruction .

Black Swan is a reflection of psychosis in fashionthriller and embellishment for ballet.A dangerous search for perfection, that perfection that spectators admire, which the audience observed with astonishment at the premiere of the work, but whose path they do not know. The result is perfect, but the road was full of thorns.

"The only person on your path is you, it's time to let her go, lose yourself."

-Black Swan


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