Red Sparrow: Jennifer Lawrence Shines in This Intriguing Dark Thriller
Movie Review by Anirudh Madhav (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
In the ending of the first scene, Russian prima ballerina Dominika (Jennifer Lawrence) falls down on the stage after being attacked by her fellow dancer. The vertically moving camera shows a fallen Dominika with a broken femur, crying in helplessness. The sequence is artistically captured and gives a background story for the birth of seductress spy Red Sparrow.
The tragedy ends Dominika’s ballet stint and she is forced to take a task offered by her uncle Vanya Egorov (Matthias Schoenaerts), who in return promises to take care of her elderly mother. Following the bloodied murder of Dmitri Ustinov (Kristof Konrad), in the presence of Dominika, she has only two options – to die or enter a government-sanctioned service called Sparrows. Will Dominika succeed in her first case involving CIA agent Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton)? This forms the crux of the storyline of Red Sparrow.
Throughout the movie, director Francis Lawrence brings the color red alive onscreen and uses it generously splashes it on his sets, costumes and of course, a lot many gory scenes. Infact, there is plenty of gore in the film. The movie intends to create a sense of shock by unflinchingly depicting murder and sexual violence.
Red Sparrow has a complex plot with several twists, where the audience are left guessing whether Dominika is really a double agent or loyal spy of the Russian Intelligence Service. Veteran actors General Korchnoi (Jeremy Irons) and Matron (Charlotte Rampling) carry off their roles as Russian officers with much elan, use liberal doses of accented English and slightly detached demeanours.
Jennifer Lawrence is gritty and fierce as a Russian agent, her attachment to her mother is never sentimentalized and yet, it is evident through the film. The movie has its set of thrilling moments. Watch out for the scene where a floppy disk is exchanged in a hotel room with a memorable performance by Stephanie Boucher (Mary-Louise Parker).
After collaborating with director Francis in Hunger Games, James Newton Howard once again composes stunning soundtracks. The climax featuring, Didn’t I do Well, is hauntingly beautiful and captures the essence of the movie.
Red Sparrow is a well-packaged thriller that beautifully captures the locations in Russia and Hungary with plenty of shocking moments, that catch the audience off guard.