Red Sparrow is an American Spy Thriller film that is surprisingly set almost entirely in Russia and Europe. It features the famous Jennifer Lawrence in an m18 movie, where she is, of course, playing a spy. What’s even more interesting is that it is directed by Francis Lawrence, who directed three of the four Hunger Games films. With the director’s past achievements, as well as Jennifer Lawrence’s acting capability, could this be a movie that will gain the audience’s heart? Let’s find out below in this film review!
A famed Russian ballerina, Dominika, who works to save up for her mother’s medical bills is suddenly injured during a performance. Her uncle offered her a chance to continue supporting her mother’s hefty bills, and that is to become a spy – Red Sparrow. However, could she be able to survive such ordeals? And could she save her mother as well from her own motherland?
Alright, let’s get to this review with one fact straighten out! I’m pretty sure most of you are just here or know about this movie because of Jennifer Lawrence…and also because it’s m18 ;). Well, I will explain this part first: if you expect lots of nudity and sexual scenes, then you will be disappointed. Yup, you heard that right, as part of the m18 rating is due to the torture scenes as well. Now, onto the narrative, it is actually a pretty common spy story regarding Russian spies vs CIA and there is nothing worthy of mention. It doesn’t really stand out, though the identity of the mole does surprise me a bit, so I guess that’s the only memorable thing about the narrative. As for pacing, this is a slow film, with some parts in the middle portion being dragged so as to feature more of the characterisation of the film. This film takes its time as if guiding us along and making focuses solely on the characters instead of the story. I find that this method is pretty well-handled, but seriously, some of the draggy parts almost made me feel bored and I actually yawned a few times. Note that some of the scenes are cut for the Singapore version, as it removes some of the more gory torture scenes and I suspect some sexual scenes as well.
Then, onto the characters, this is the part where the film shines the brightest, as it’s been directed for us to grow fond of the characters and their interactions with one another. I love most of the characters featured here as they are mostly all unique and also pretty memorable. Ironically, it is the Red Sparrow herself that is actually less memorable than the rest of the casts. I really like the way the main character grows from a simple ballerina to a Russian agent. The villains are also pretty cool and quite imposing as well. Lastly, the soundtrack is also pretty good and plays appropriate music for the right atmosphere, and they all make the film much more dramatic. I love the opera-style soundtrack that reflects the character’s background, subtly signaling that she still retains her own core of beliefs despite the brainwashing procedure that she had to go through.