Red Sparrow: Film Review
Red Sparrow is the newest ‘spy movie’ to be released starring big names such as Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton and the director Francis Lawrence, who is know for the Hunger Games franchise.
This new R rated thriller was produced with the intent of bringing us a more mature perspective to the previously monetised genre, including themes of seduction and corruption.
Set in Russia, the film depicts Lawrence as Ballet Dancer, Dominika Egorova. After becoming injured, she is conscripted by her uncle to join a secret military intelligence base that turns both men and women into seducing, killing machines.
Lawrence’s performance is stellar, which is impressive considering how dark and depressive this film becomes, with seduction turning into rape more than once.
Despite the quality from the lead actress, many of the other characters are left with little to no explanation, resulting in what feels like a hollow story, covered up with, “brutal violence… hairpin plot-twists and… sexpot shamelessness,” as described by Tim Grierson in his Screen Daily Review.
The use of a symbolic colour palette which incorporates, beige and red for skin and blood, alongside dark blues and white for sadness and purity is one of many filmmaking techniques that come across as heavy-handed.
The redeeming feature of the technical work is the refreshingly use of flash-backs. Unlike in many other films, they aren’t used to give the audience more understanding, but rather to reinforce the trauma experienced by Dominika in earlier scenes of the movie.
The other aspect of the film that keeps it from destroying a viewers psyche is the use of of audience information, instead of giving the audience more or less knowledge then the on screen characters, we discover every aspect of the two-and-a-half-hour story with Lawrence, maintaining an equal knowledge of the journey.
Designed to make an audience uncomfortable with its “carnally charged material” (Tom Russo, Boston Globe) Red Sparrow is commonly ranked with mixed reviews usually just on the positive side of 55%.
Overall, the negatives from an apparent lack of attention in areas is compensated for by Lawrence’s acting and the underlying attraction of the film’s dark genre.