IANS Review: ‘Sweet Girl’: Engaging yet deceptive with its narrative

Mumbai : ‘Sweet Girl’ is an action-packed revenge thriller that is engaging yet deceptive with its narrative.The film begins on a thrilling note with Ray Cooper (Jason Momoa), a sparrer, being chased by the police right from a tube station till he is cornered by the FBI agent Sarah Meeker (Lex Scott Davis) on the roof of a stadium.At the opportune moment, Ray leaps off the roof, only to land into a water body. This exhilarating action shot ensures that we expect some thrilling action sequences. This is also the prologue of the film.Immediately after the prologue, over a montage of Ray Cooper’s life, we are told, “The past is like a dream, there are memories that shape us, moulding us into what we’ve become — a mosaic of images and feelings … even if details are blurred with time.” This passage bookends the film.And between the passages mentioned above, we learn how years ago when Ray’s wife Amanda Cooper (Adria Arjona), a dancer, was suffering from cancer, BioPrime, a big pharmaceutical company, ensured that a generic drug was pulled off the market, just to rake in profits, thus making Amanda’s survival difficult.This naturally upset Ray and upon seeing Simon Keeley, CEO of BioPrime, on a news programme where the journalists were questioning his business practices, Ray threatens him with these words, “If my wife dies, it’s your death sentence. I will hunt you down and kill you with my bare hands.”These angry words from a family man seems justifiable for the moment.

The character is given heft when we learn that he is a professional sparrer (fighter). For the next six months he is seen venting his anger on the punching bag in his gym and at the same time training his daughter Rachael (Isabela Merced) to become a sparrer.Later, he receives a call from Martin Bennett (Nelson Franklin), an investigative journalist, who informs him that he has inside information about BioPrime’s malpractices.They meet on a subway train to exchange the proof, and while they were talking, a hit-man stabs Martin. This leads to a deadly combat, where Ray kills the assassin and this instigates him to pursue his threat to Simon Keeley. What follows is a clear-cut vengeance action drama with Ray trailing Simon.Jason Momoa, with his rugged physique and charismatic disposition, delivers a fine performance of a loving, caring and sensitive husband and father, and also of a man out to avenge the death of his wife. Isabela Merced, as his caring daughter, is equally brilliant.The film boasts of decent production values and camera work, and the music elevates the viewing experience.Overall, the plot is packed with; skilfully choreographed and edited action sequences, scenes of father-daughter bonding, and the daughter’s concern about her father’s safety.But somewhere, by the two-third mark of the run time, the narrative takes a cinematic liberty and switches track. This abrupt transition derails the viewer and questions the plausibility of the film’s logic. Even if you refer to the passages that bookend this film, the narrative does not make any sense.

Review, Hollywood

Sweet Girl, Brian Andrew Mendonza, Jason Momoa, Isabela Merced, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Raza Jaffrey, Amy Brenneman, Adria Arjona, Lex Scott, Neslon Franklin, Justin Bartha Review, Hollywood

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