Rape, torture and ballet are just some of the trials Jennifer Lawrence is subjected to in the brutal thriller Red Sparrow. Of course, what with her being a millennial feminist, she’s entitled to her own agency at all times, but I couldn’t help feel queasy watching her being put through this ordeal of a film.
Forced out of her top spot at the Bolshoi, Jennifer is recruited by her leering uncle (Matthias Schoenarts) to be a Sparrow, a deadly agent schooled in seduction and luring secrets out of enemy operatives with their bodies.
This means we get to see J-Law take her clothes off a lot and look very grim about it, as you might when Charlotte Rampling is ordering you to fellate one of your classmates. Whatever happened to show and tell?
She’s then sent on a mission to get raped by a dodgy billionaire in a hotel, before having to pretend to fancy Joel Edgerton’s CIA guy in order to find out the Yanks’ mole at the top of the Kremlin. But, as the action flits from Hungary to London, does she really fall for the American?
Who knows? I lost track of the plot because I didn’t care for anyone, least of all Jennifer’s Dominica, or Katerina – she keeps changing her name. I think we’re supposed to root for her to come out on top, but the price she pays for it is so ugly and degrading, I can’t think why we’d want to watch.
Jennifer in a variety of states of dress and undress – robes, swimwear, knickers, naked, tutus – is on offer to the leering viewer, but I just wanted to turn away. Even Jeremy Irons and Ciaran Hinds doing their rubbish Russian accents from the 1980s was offensive. Red Sparrow? Brown Turkey, more like.