Red Sparrow earns four stars in my book. Jennifer Lawrence really does a good job going from “innocent” to trained killer. Charlotte Rampling is absolutely perfect as Matron. She is the one tasked with being the cruel teacher for the young men and women. Instructing them on how to use sex as a deadly weapon. Jeremy Irons is actually a treasure with his brief appearance in this film.
It is difficult for someone just reading this or seeing the trailer to avoid comparing it to La Femme Nikita and/or Point of No Return. Red Sparrow takes a different spin on the The Femme Fatale story. Celebrated ballet dancer has leg broken by lover of one who wants her place. Falls into financial desperation in communist Russia. Has connected uncle that decides to pimp her out for Mother Russia.
Most of the students find the use of explicit pornographic films for instruction (don’t worry, you don’t see anything) shocking. The entire class appears gobsmacked when they are told they will be pairing off and performing these acts in front of everyone. This school makes certain every student knows that sex is their primary weapon. Their bodies belong to Mother Russia.
Don’t want to give too much away
I’m a bit surprised Jennifer Lawrence agreed to do the movie. She is naked on set (not on-screen) quite a bit. I applaud her for doing it. That scene where she is made to strip naked and offer herself to the dude who tried to rape her in the shower doesn’t go where you think it is going and really is the watershed moment for her character.
There is a lot of subtlety in this movie. You might want to watch it a few times to pick up on things. The bulk of the Spy vs. Spy story line really reminds a viewer of Smiley’s People.