In time with Angel Locsin’s awesome stunt at Pilipinas Got talent worthy of a standing ovation, I’ve watched Red Sparrow which explicitly tackled objectification of women in the most vicious way.
Becoming a spy is one of my delusions as a child. So, a spy thriller like Red Sparrow brought back that childhood dream in me in a more ‘adult’ way. Jennifer Lawrence’s depiction of a Russian Ballerina forced to become a spy is relatable enough for me; me being a former danseur and another me, who fantasizes about becoming a secret agent. (And yes, Sergei Polunin, one of the greatest danseur of this time, was also present here with an astounding pas de deux.)
I, myself, would relate to the heartache of breaking a leg for a dancer whose art serves as bread and butter. It’s more than the excruciating pain, it’s a life that was lost.
This picture became brutal but not sadist enough for you to throw up. Rape, sexual assault, violence, and a glorious display of sexuality were evenly distributed throughout the film. I’m not certain if that’s an apt number of doses, yet it is something the narrative has called for. Sex scenes may have been lavish, this doesn’t sway away from the celebration of womanhood and its very essence. This has remained classy and respectable even with all that soft pornographies.
This movie was based from a novel and I really appreciate the thrive for a Russian accent, even if how wobbly it sounds from an American and British ensemble, it effectively drew me to the glory of Russian royal ballet and the exhilarating trade of Russian sexual espionage. It sounded sexy, glossy, and oozing with sophistication.
Dominika, the main protagonist, who was coerced to become a spy who uses seduction as main weapon and sex to turn her targets into prey. More than her sexuality, her character explored identity, trust, beauty, and responsibility. Jennifer effectively portrayed a dramatic shift from a stunning danseuse to a smooth professional spy. Her cold face exudes brutality and firmness which blended along her calm femininity.
However, this movie left me wanting with the romantic essence between her and Joel Edgerton, the American operative who fall short in her deception easily, who happens to be his first target. This picture victoriously marketed nudity, its savage plot, and a Jennifer Lawrence, yet it felt lacking on dramatic elements that I think, should be present there. It never established enough chemistry, or even a single spark, primarily because of fake lust, which made this movie somehow ineffective.
This has tackled objectification of women to a whole new level where feminine bodies were weaponized as a warfare and as an edge to survival. But this never relies on a woman whose body belongs to the state, it is a story of a woman who stood out of it and stayed firm despite the reality of the sex espionage trade. This is a showcase of the physical and psychological strength of a woman who strove to resist the trap she was in.
Objectification became resounding anew over the weekend when the former Darna, dramatic actress Angel Locsin, spew this out on National TV beside a perverted macho. What Angel did is somewhat akin to what Dominika has gone through. They both opposed the tide and battle the existing norm. Women are not sex objects and they should never be used as a form of a crazy tactic or as a form of carwash entertainment.
Be a Dominika in a world where females are forced to become whores. Be an Angel Locsin in a world full of Robins.