RED SPARROW FLIES HIGH
The “Red Sparrow” gives us a unique look into the spy world from the Russian point of view. Jennifer Lawrence takes on an unusual role for her. She is excellent as a Russia prima ballerina for the Bolshoi Ballet, Dominika Egorov, whose career is ended when her leg is crushed by another dancer. Hearing her leg crunch when her dance partner jumps on it ran cold chills up my spine. The injury means that she and her ailing mother will be turned out of their home and her mother will no longer get the health care she needs to live because the Bolshoi will no longer support her
Her uncle Vanya, played by Matthias Schoenaerts, sets her up to witness a murder. She either becomes a “Sparrow” or dies. Sparrow School is a spy school run by Matron, a woman with ice water in her veins, who is played by Charlotte Rampling. The school teaches Russian spies to use sex to manipulate people into spying for Russia. A word of warning, the sex is very graphic and there is full frontal nudity of both men and women.
Dominika must find out from an American CIA agent, Nate Nash, who is his Russian mole is. Joel Edgerton plays the agent who is immediately attracted to Dominika sexually. He job is to turn her into a spy for the United States.
There are more twists and turns in the film to keep you guessing throughout the film. The script, written by Justin Haye based on the novel by Jason Matthews, drags a little in the middle but the beginning and end are so exciting that it makes up for a slow ten minute stretch. What makes this fun is you are never sure who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.
I had trouble following where the characters were physically. The action supposedly took place in Russia, Hungry, and London but following exactly where they were was a little confusing as were the names. Not used to Russian names, it was sometimes difficult following which characters were talking about when they called them by name. What weren’t confusing were the torture scenes. They were brutal and I wondered if people could really survive the torture we were seeing on the screen. The audience groaned with every punch the guards gave the victim.
Although, many scenes were difficult to watch, this was a fascinating film to watch. If you don’t mind graphic sexual scenes and violence, you will enjoy this film.
“Red Sparrow” opens this weekend at AMC Showplace Edwardsville 12 and Granite City Cinema.