I have recently watched The Black Swan. I am from Russia. The Swan Lake was the Ballet of my childhood. How many times did I watch it- 20, 30? Music from that Ballet could be recognized by anyone. And libretto too-even small children knew the story about Odett and Odillia- the white and black swans. Actually, the topic of the transformation of the swan into the beautiful Princess is the Russian topic; there is a charming fairy-tale (a little different story) by Pushkin about it. Swans are cherished birds in Russia, maybe due to their family loyalty.
The movie is thrilling, very intense and powerful. Obviously, the whole concept is the load of the creative process on the psyche; the necesssity to give everything of yourself to the art of the development of the image, the rising to the challenge and the price of that effort. All of that is so. But is cruelty necessary?
Through the whole movie the protagonist Nina is tragically alone. There is no cozy place to hide, no person to cry with, no person to even hug. There is no father (this fatherlessness of the female protagonist had become odious in the Hollywood culture recently), thus there is no protection from the cruelty of her world. There is nowhere to go as if there are no libraries, no theaters, no parks. There is no boyfriend or any male friend for that matter. There is no one to rely upon spiritually; even the faith is not there. Nina has no life. That's why the world around her is so surreal; the light is electric only. There are no seasons, no sun, no rain, no snow. If you want to dance a swan, shouldn't you at least go for some skating on the lake? Shouldn't you go to the Zoo? Shouldn't you go see the paintings where those swans are drawn? Shouldn't you watch the movies where other ballerinas dance, listen to the music? That bar scene is useless in the movie; Nina is not there no matter how the director wants to convince us in the opposite.
The movie is unfortunately cruel and cruelty, in my opinion, kills any art. Why would the sexual harrasment on the scene help the young girl to gain her self- confidence? Why would rudeness and deliberate provocation produce the admiration? I don't think so. In the culmination scene Nina, the Black Swan kisses her tormentor with passion, thus revealing apparently her internal desire to be with him. That's cruelty at the top of malice; turns out he was right all along- she wanted it, didn't she? Why? What it has to do with art? I don't understand. I don't agree.
The Swan Lake is a tender, beautiful masterpiece of light. As all real works of art it requires work and dedication. But cruelty and extreme spiritual rape have nothing to do with it. If I was Nina's father that idiot-director played by V. Kassel would hear from me right away. I myself had been a professional chess player. Chess is very demanding. We had many young people around and there was a lot of stress. But cruelty was strictly forbidden; overhwelming, pushing, rudeness were excluded as the ones which denigrate the noble art of the game, make it malicious.
What kind of art can be produced by people who ask if anyone would like to f&ck the girl? White or Black are the swans but they are symbols of something bigger, something noble, something which makes us better. I don't think that the concept I saw made me better. In fact, I came out very angry. The obvious talent of the actress was deliberately sacrificed to petty cruelty. That's what I saw.
I am an engineer, also write stories, was a professsional chess player as I have mentioned. Yes, our endeavors demand committment and conviction, perseverance and dedication. They demand honesty and suffering. But as Einstein said, 'God is inventive but not malicious'. Our endeavors do not recognize extreme cruelty and self-demise as a path to perfection. The road to perfection must be filled with joy. There was no joy in that movie, only tragedy, cruelty and death. There was no compassion. I cannot accept this. Maybe I am all wrong. But I listen to Chaikovsky music and I really don't see Nina dancing. Sorry.