Black Swan Essay

Submitted By edwinakimber
Words: 1225
Pages: 5

Black Swan A passionately insane ballet psychomelodrama from Darren Aronofsky. Starring Natalie Portman and co-star Mila Kunis. At its centre is young ballerina Nina Sayers, played by Natalie Portman. She is beautiful, vulnerable, sexually naive and exposed to her own mental illness. The director, Aronofsky, imbeds into the characters persona strong obsessions which ultimately drives them to self-destruction. To play the role of a lifetime, Nina must delve deep into her own dark side. As her hallucinations and anxiety attack her innocent personality. This is a movie about fear of penetration, fear of your body, fear of being replaced in the affections of a powerful man, love of perfection, love of dance, and perhaps most importantly of all, passionate and overwhelming hatred of your mother.
One of the most important features to deconstruct when analyzing this movie is the mis en scene. The theme of mirrors is an important aspect of this film, which can connate many different meanings. Firstly mirrors is a vital item in the ballet world in order for ballerinas to watch their performances and make sure they look the part. However in this movie the mirrors are used to show fractured personality/confusion and mental reflections of the way the character sees themselves, this creating suspense for the audience. The mirrors in black swan scenes were also used to portrait loss of identity as she would see an evil double in the mirror foreshadowing what she’s about to become.

Another aspect of mis en scene in this movie is shadowing. Shadows are mainly used in this film to create a sense of mystery. This is used really well during the first half of the opening scene where the shadow is covering the top half of her body. People usually associates light and shadows with good and evil so because of the top half of her body being covered by a shadow the audience can associates that with the assumption that there is an evil side to her.

The costumes Nina wears in Black Swan were very specifically used to highlight how her personality changes. She goes through a transition from good to bad, this is also reflected on her clothing, most importantly the colour of her clothing. She goes to a transition from pinks/whites to blacks. As Nina becomes more mentally damaged her clothing darkens and her hair comes down, as her character is pushed away from elegance and sophistication. At the beginning of the film Nina wore white clothing which is a symbol of purity and kindness. During the transition she moves on to dark clothes like black, which symbolise evil, a seducer and mystery. This is all due to her determination of wanting a lead role in the play. This just indicates that clothing plays a big impact on reflecting the personality of a character.
It’s important to highlight the setting of Black Swan as it’s such a compulsive part of receiving the correct vibe that the directors wanted the audience to receive from this movie. In Black Swan the grey corridors is a place where the ballet dancers reflect upon themselves or are waiting to perform. The use of the colour grey suggests a cloudy or moody theme portraying a negative and sad atmosphere. This could reflect Nina’s mood at the time (in the corridor scenes). Also the long and narrowness of the corridor suggest her loneliness and again her independence. Yet again contribution to the negativity of the atmosphere and her mood. Nina’s bedroom is almost like a child’s room, the room is full of different shades of pink including her pink silky dress. Due to her facial expression in the scenes shot in her room we can assume she is unhappy in her life. She feels trapped and controlled even at an adult age. Audience can relate this to the narrative of the story and come to a conclusion as to why her mental illness has occurred.

The use of camera in Black swan is very important as most of the shots reflect on Nina’s personality and lifestyle. For example over the