Cynical, Delusional world of Darren Aronofsky.   Leave a comment

Darren Aronofsky is an American film director, screenwriter and film producer. He has directed five movies so far i.e Pi(1998),  Requiem for a Dream (2000),  The Fountain (2006),  The Wrestler (2008) and Black Swan(2010). The first movie of Aronofsky that i watched was Requiem for a Dream and the experience was horrific, neurotic. It is one of the most depressing movies that i have come across.

The common element that can be noticed in all Aronofsky movies is that the main characters are driven by obsession. In Pi, Max (Sean Gullette) is a math genius who believes, Mathematics is the language of nature and everything can be represented and understood through numbers and also believes that there are patterns everywhere in nature. In Requiem for a Dream, Marion (Jennifer Connelly), Sara (Ellen Burstyn), Harry (Jared Leto) lives are destroyed by their  addiction to drugs. In The Fountain Tommy (Hugh Jackman) and his other two versions are obsessed with immortality. In The Wrestler, Randy the Ram (Mickey Rourke) is very much obsessed with his career. In Black Swan, Nina (Natalie Portman) is obsessed with dance (ballet).

Aronofsky is attracted to the extremes of human experiences and wants his characters to suffer and pursue their respective obsessions to a level where they do not find any peace. The journey is very nightmarish, melodramatic and all of them ultimately succumb to their respective addictions. Only Max and Tommy come out from the depths of insanity and realize truth.

Black Swan (2010): is his latest directional venture.

Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Winona Ryder

Black Swan is a story of a ballerina and her pursuit to perfection. Obsessed and completely consumed with dance, Nina (Natalie Portman) desires to play the role swan queen i.e. both white and black swan in “Swan Lake” ballet. Nina is perfect fit for White swan that represents innocence, elegance, grace, beauty & her junior Lily (Mila Kunis) is perfect fit for Black Swan that represent dark, sensual side. Though she gets to play the lead role, she’s afraid to fail, afraid to succeed, unsure of what’s real and what’s not real, she assumes Lily as a potential threat but they eventually go out, party and have sex. Then floodgates open, Nina’s hallucinations increase and engulf her completely which pull her in different directions. She becomes victim of her own ambition.

Jasaon Bellamy (Critic) on Aronofsky : All of his characters have one thing they care about more than living itself, and all of them pursue these obsessions to an unhealthy degree. All of his films, despite their differences in style, tone and narrative content, can be boiled down to the idea that in pursuing our personal visions of the ultimate goal, the ultimate meaning, we paradoxically miss out on both the small details and the bigger picture. ”

Though Aronofsky’s movies are blunt, brave, Ultra Realistic they all are archetypal cliches that lack spirituality and as aptly put by Tarkovsky “Devoid of spirituality, Art carries its own tragedy within it”.

Further Reading:


Posted 14/01/2011 by 6thstation in Backseat Conceptions, Hollywood

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