Plot: Dominika Egorova’s life is changed when she suffers a career-ending injuring as a prima ballerina. She then attends sparrow school where she is taught to use her mind and body as a weapon. She completes the training process and is then sent out into a dangerous world where she meets a CIA operative who influences her into believing, he is the only person she can trust.
Director: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeremy Irons, Joely Richardson, Charlotte Rampling, Thekla Reuten, Mary-Louise Parker.
Did I understand the film? Absolutely not. Did I enjoy the film? Certainly. In fact, I loved it. Watching this film was one hell of an epic journey, one that I’m glad I went on. When it first opened I thought, I’m not going to like it, I kept comparing it to Atomic Blonde and I hated that film but I couldn’t have been more wrong. To start with, there was a lot going on, a lot of names I couldn’t pronounce were introduced and I was feeling a little overwhelmed. Then I settled into it and I felt like I was getting there with the plot. There was a lot of technical and political aspects that were going straight over my head but I had a good grasp on the general story.
The film then takes a very dark turn. I had no idea there was going to be so much rape and sex and violence. I don’t tend to watch film trailers anymore, I’d rather go into films with having no expectations whatsoever and I avoided reading articles about the film to avoid spoilers. It was very heavy and graphic. It makes for a difficult viewing. In the cinema I was in I got a 10-minute interval in the middle and to be honest, I really needed that break to recover from the first segment and all its events. It’s not a film to go into lightly. It’s hard going but it’s worth watching, it’s one of the most exciting films I’ve ever seen. It’s unpredictable, I had no idea what was going to happen next and I didn’t even dare to guess how it was going to end and to be honest, I just knew I’d be way off the mark anyway.
Character development was something that was achieved flawlessly, especially with Lawrence’s protagonist Dominika. You first see her as a fragile woman performing beautiful and seamless routines on stage. Then she breaks her leg and can no longer be a ballerina. That’s when everything changes and she turns into a completely different person. In comparison to her at the end of the film, where she’s cold, heartless and ruthless, you could mistake them for two completely different people.
With the running time being two hours 20, you’d think the film may feel dragged out but it wasn’t. With that much character development needed, the running time was just perfect. It didn’t feel long at all. I didn’t get that sense of wanting it to end because I’ve been sat for too long. It was a great viewing experience, one I’ll never forget.
Just when I thought I had a good sense of what was going on, things got incredibly complicated and confusing. I’d like to think I’m a smart person but keeping up with this film was just impossible for me. That ending just left me with my arms up in the air. I mean, what happened? I had no clue. I was extremely entertained though and as soon as I got home I googled the ending in the hopes I would understand it and thankfully, I did, ish.
Once I’d read it, the events made sense but I still couldn’t tell you who the good guy was or even if there was one. My mind still feels a little all over the place. To say the film is a rollercoaster is a bit of an understatement. I’m definitely going to watch it again when it’s available because I feel like I might understand it a lot better with a second viewing or if not, a third viewing should definitely do it.
As confused as I sound writing this, I did really enjoy the film. I can’t wait to see it again. It was dark and some bits may have been tough to watch but I really enjoyed it. You get nothing but escapism when watching it. It draws you in and doesn’t let you go until Francis Lawrence’s name appears at the end. I will say this, it’s the best thriller I’ve seen since Shutter Island.
Happy watching peeps!