This week on Blu-ray/DVD and digital from director Francis Lawrence and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes a thriller in the form of a “Red Sparrow.”
Dominika (Jennifer Lawrence) is a beloved Russian ballet dancer who lights up a stage. When an accident forces her to give up the stage, her uncle Vanya Egrora (Matthias Schoenaerts) wants to help. Knowing the state pays for the apartment she shares with her ill mother Nina (Joely Richardson, Dominika is asked to do a specific job.
That one event sends her to a secret program that trains people to be agents and do whatever – whatever it takes for Russia. That’s more important now with the suspicion of a mole right under their noses. Watching Dominika is the school Matron (Charlotte Rampling) and General Korchnoi (Jeremy Irons).
Setting up a coincidental meeting with American Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) the game of cat and mouse begins. Deals are made, money is exchanged and lives hold little value in the game to win.
But they’ve never met this Red Sparrow!
Lawrence as Dominika gives a performance that is stoic and all the while it is clear the wheels in her mind are in motion. Discovering who to trust, who has the most to lose and how to use the schools programming in her favor takes chess like maneuvering. Lawrence makes it all thrilling and at times jaw-dropping to watch. This character is strong and very smart and with Lawrence doing all the heavy lifting, it works stunningly.
Edgerton as Nash looks like a man who has played this game many, many times. Dominika is sent to get his attention and the message is clearly received. Nash also sees that she isn’t just any sparrow. Working together is going to have a high price attached to it and let me just say OMG the price tag is considerable. Irons as the General has a small role here but that doesn’t make his presence any less felt. Irons still has the amazing power to compel a watcher and it still happens to me.
Schoenaerts as Vanya has been in the game for a long time and clearly sees nothing wrong with sacrificing his niece to it all. His goal is to find the mole and rise even farther up the ranks of the spy game. Schoenaerts is clever in this role and equally disturbing – well done.
A shout out to Charlotte Rampling as the scary Matron of the Sparrow School, you go girl! One thing she shares in common with Dominika is the stoic way she handles every situation – no matter how disturbing. Rampling is a personal favorite for me to watch so thumbs way up every time I see her.
Other cast include: Mary-Louise Parker as Stephanie Boucher, Ciaran Hinds as Zakharov, Bill Camp as Marty Gable, Thekla Reuten as Marta, Douglas Hodge as Maxim Volontov and Sakina Jaffrey as Trish Forsyth.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings award-winning global product and new entertainment to DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital HD. Their amazing collection offers fans an opportunity to expand their own home libraries with the best films. To discover what other titles they have go to www.fox.com.
“Red Sparrow” is a film that has so much going on and is so fascinating while its happening. The intrigue sets in quite early in Dominika’s life realizing you can’t trust anyone. Becoming an agent seems to be her only way out of a bad situation. The fact that she has no qualms about smacking someone around helps her cause in a weird way.
The story takes us down so many different rabbit holes and just as I thought I knew the destination – wrong! “Red Sparrow” is a true spy thriller that doesn’t give itself away until it’s damn good and ready!
The Blu-ray/DVD include the special features of “A New Cold War: Organization & Adaptation,” “Agents Provocateurs: The Ensemble Cast,” “Tradecraft: Visual Authenticity,” “Heart of the Tempest: On Location,” “Welcome to Sparrow School: Ballet & Stunts,” “A Puzzle of Need: Post Production,” “Director Commentary by Francis Lawrence” and “Deleted Scenes: Commentary by Francis Lawrence.”
There are 90-plus minutes of extras and include Movies Anywhere! Watch anywhere with the Movies Anywhere App and a digital movie is included.
The cast led by Lawrence comes together with each playing their part so well that I certainly wouldn’t be unhappy if they came back for more.
In the end – she’s seductive, deceptive and deadly!