Saturday, 12 February 2011

Thriller Review (Black Swan)

On the weekend I went to the cinema to watch the newly released film, 'Black Sawn'. I had heard a lot about the thriller and thought it would be a good idea to watch it, to give me a good sense of a successful thriller. I made sure to keep an eye out for use of tension building shots, music and editing, taking away ideas and inspiration. 

Throughout the film music is used to build tension and have the audience at the edge of their seats. I liked the way in which music box music is played, the music usually reminds us of childhood and happiness but it has been turned around to sound creepy and scary, leading up to what is to come. Similar to Natalie Portman's character of Nina, as she is seen as a sweet and beautiful ballerina, 'the white swan, but has another side known as 'the black swan' which is evil and crazy. Along with this dramatic and tension building music is used throughout whenever something bad or dramatic is to come, it lets us as the audience know that something is coming and that we should be aware. Both types of music are heard in the advert below, advertising the thriller well and making the audience want to watch it. 

Mise En Scene:
The film shows us two sides of a ballerina, and to do so switches between innocent and 'swan-like' colours e.g. whites, pinks to dark and demented colours e.g. blacks, silvers. This bold contrast between the 'black swan' and 'white swan' helps the audience to distinguish between the too and makes us feel as though they are two completely different people. The costume and make-up of each character helps to give the audience a sense of what they are like and helps to create our opinion on each character, wether we like them or hate them. Another key to creating suspense and tension in 'The Black Swan' is through the setting and locations, as for example when Nina is alone in her dark house we suspect something bad is coming likewise in the advert above, when Nina is alone on stage dancing in the dark, and the spotlight on her is the only light seen and we see her silhouette on the ground we are once again put in suspense as for what is to come, and music is used in these dark and gloomy settings to help build tension even further. 

Editing & Camera Shots:

I found the camera shots very suspenseful in the film as they built tension throughout the film, for examples there are many points during the movie when the camera follows Nina and we see everything that she is seeing from behind her, this makes us nervous for her and makes us feel the need to protect her as she is in front of us. This builds suspense, as we cannot see her face and we are aware of something bad approaching. Along with this there are many over the shoulder shots used, for example in the advert above, we see an over the shoulder shot in the mirror of her and her mother. This once again is successful in building suspense, as the mirror is only a reflection of reality and it takes a twisted take on what is really happening. The camera shots and editing of the ballet, I found the highlight of the film. I found this because they are so beautiful to watch and as there are many different shots (extreme close ups, close ups, mid shots, cutaways...) we get to see her dancing in extreme detail and the way in which they are edited together flows just as smoothly as the 'white swan' and when she doesn't dance so well the editing jolts from one movement to another and we see the side of the 'black swan'. This made me feel on edge and built suspense, as we see the clear distinction between the two sides of Nina. 

I found 'The Black Swan' an extremely successful thriller, and it kept my attention throughout and made me want to watch on till the end. It was enjoyable, and built up the much needed suspense in a thriller. It was a great to watch, as I felt much more aware of things I needed to be aware of when it comes to filming my thriller opening and techniques that would help to make my final thriller opening successful. 

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