BLACK SWAN directed by Darren Aronofsky is a dark psychological drama and stars Natalie Portman (Nina) as a ballerina.
Nina is a single young woman who lives with her mother and whose life is all about ballet dancing.
The director Thomas (Vincent Cassel) is producing a new version of Swan Lake and decides to replace prima ballerina Beth (Winona Ryder) so picks Nina.
The role is dual and the ballerina will play the angelic white swan as well as the darker black swan. Nina is picked mainly due to her ability to play the white swan and faces a struggle to develop the character of the black swan along with tough competition from the other dancers and particularly a new dancer Lily (Mila Kunis).
Nina faces the controlling force of her mother, who gave up her dancing career without reaching a lead role to give birth to Nina. Her mother is now obsessed with the career of her daughter, painting hundreds of pictures of her and it is her mothering ways that have lead Nina to be an angelic creature, not really subjected to enough life to be able to play the darker black swan.
In order to face the darker black swan Nina has to fight off the amorous attention of the director Thomas and open up to her own sexuality and sexual desires. This leads to Nina and Lily forming a twisted friendship as Nina’s dark side comes to the fore.
Early on in the film Nina has several run-ins with Beth, the ballerina she is replacing. At first she does not understand the ageism and believes Beth should be proud of her great career. But Nina is actually meeting an older version of herself if she carries on the path she is taking. Later she understands the pressure of a rival and understands the forces at work. She fights against the pressure that is a mental strain on her.
As Nina overcomes her flaw of being too angelic and naive to play the black swan she begins to lose her mind. She rebels against her mother and fights off every attempt to stop her playing the role. Even her mother can no longer protect her as she battles against the stigma of only being in the chorus to play the black swan.
Ultimately she has to achieve her goal but at what expense.