Red Sparrow

  • 17 Mar - 23 Mar, 2018
  • Farheen Jawaid
  • Reviews

Jennifer Lawrence, with ample experience in killing for survival in The Hunger Games, gets more graphic with violence, sexuality and nudity in Red Sparrow.

With a running time of over two hours and thirty minutes, Red Sparrow starts with laying a solid ground for a girl who has no options but to become a spy who has to seduce her target for the Russian Foreign Intelligence (SVR).

Before that, Dominika (Jennifer Lawrence), is a rising star ballerina and the only breadwinner for her invalid mother (Joely Richardson). However, things go bad fast for her. After ignoring inappropriate contact by a creepy politician before a performance, she breaks her ankle from a fall during a performance putting an end to her promising career on stage (Putting salt to the wound, the fall wasn’t so much an accident as she thought).

After recovering from her injury, her uncle Ivan (Matthias Schoenaerts) who is creeper then the politician, and works for the Intelligence Service, gives her a proposition to help him exchange phones with the aforementioned creepy politician, Ustinov (Kristof Konrad).

For Dominika’s help, her uncle will see to it that her mother’s medical expenses are paid. But the event gets out of control leading to her being raped and the politician getting killed at the same time by a secret service man working for her uncle.

With nowhere to turn to, her uncle puts her in a Red Sparrow program. She has the choice to join the sparrows or face execution for witnessing the murder of the politician by the state.

At the Red Sparrow, Dominika and other men and women are broken down, trained to use any means of persuasion to get the information and trust from the other side – whoever they may be.

While on the side as Dominika was training to become an accomplished Mata Hari, CIA agent Nash (Joel Edgerton) tries to get in contact with his inside man in the Russian Intelligence without exposing him; (No cookie points for guessing who is put on his case after her training).

Red Sparrow runs like a long winded thriller out of the seventies, with an atmosphere of post-cold war thick in the air. Director Francis Lawrence (of The Hunger Games, Constantine and I AM Legend fame) shoots the movie from low angles and wide frames for atmospheric oomph. Jennifer Lawrence, plays Dominica with a stoic, steely grip and a venerable core. But Red Sparrow lacks depths in its story. To be fair there are a lot of twists, turns, betrayals, nudities, violence and gore, but absent is the human touch (which to be fair mostly all spy thriller suffers from)… but maybe I’m asking for too much here. •