Jennifer Lawrence Dances Her Way On Screen In This Adult Psychological Drama With Red Sparrow
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writer: Justin Haythe (screenplay), Jason Matthews (book)
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence,, Joel Edgerton, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeremy Irons
Synopsis: Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to ‘Sparrow School,’ a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a C.I.A. agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.
Red Sparrow, I went into this film not knowing what to expect. This is the first time I have seen Jennifer Lawrence play this sort of role. J-Law portrays a Russian spy in sex-themed suspense/action drama.
Red Sparrow is a wicked piece of work. While it is listed as action and suspense film, it leans more towards a psychological erotic espionage drama that maintains the story through plenty of twists, turns and even points of degradation. This is not a film for the children to watch, considering the nudity, sexual content and not to mention the graphic violence.
The Skinny On The Russian Spy Plot
Jennifer Lawrence lives out her character Dominika Egorova, by taking her to a personal hell that no woman should have to endure. She begins her role as a professional ballet dancer. Her career comes to an abrupt ending due to a debilitating injury. With that being her only means to care for herself and sickly mother, the weight bears down on her. During her recovery her uncle, who has ties to espionage quickly recruits her, pitting her against her new financial struggles. He gives her what is supposed to be just a one-time assignment. However, things go South very quickly, and she is given an ultimatum. She has to pick either a quick demise or to enroll herself in “Sparrow School.” This school is designed to teach young Russians in the skill of spy-craft with an emphasis on seduction. As J-Law boldly states, “whore school.”
Dominika does not exactly make the best impression on her instructor at first. Her defiance and lack of effort to influence the powers that be nearly send her to her death. With a bit of a wake-up call, her compliance comes full circle, which launches her into the playing field. At this point, this is where she lands her first assignment as a Red Sparrow.
Her target is a demoted CIA agent(Joel Edgerton), and she is to seduce him by any means possible. The film begins to leave you guessing at this point, with all of the nail-biting suspense. The direction of the film leaves you wondering if Dominika has fallen for the American or if she is still pursuing her assignment.
Red Sparrow ducks specific metaphors of this genre, as the relationship between the Russian spy and the CIA operative is not some grand love fantasy but merely two charming people who ultimately get sexually entangled with each other. Sure, the film teases with the whole “young Russian girl used as a reluctant pawn of the state is protected by a do-gooder American operative” thing, but the film does not work that theme at full volume. The picture remains relatively clinical about their alleged relationship, and that lack of disdain keeps us on our toes.
My Thoughts On Red Sparrow
Director Francis Lawrence crafts an unapologetically “big” film, giving lush production values, multiple situations, a sense of scale and a grown-up keenness. While the runtime of the film is long, it is certainly worth it. A shorter film may not have had the opportunity for Mary Louise Parker’s delightful glorified cameo. The remainder of the cast all savor the moment to dig into this kind of factor outside of pay cable.
Red Sparrow is a great, sprawling and unapologetically ruthless spy drama. It is more rooted in quality, sex, and violence than action scenes, which I absolutely love. Lawrence is magnificent; seeking to take control of her lot and trying to define what that would look like. I was continuously fascinated by how relentless the film was to all of its heroes and villains, as the film’s savageness and frank sexuality, from a major studio and starring a major female movie star, seems borderline daring in our think piece era.
If you like what you are reading, follow @BlognPhotoNinja on Twitter.