To put it straight Ava (Jessica Chastain ) is an assassin with a heart who asks her target, “What did they do wrong?” When I heard this line during the trailer, I assumed that the entire premise would be a cat and mouse game between her company and one of the targets she get’s emotionally attached with. Perhaps Ava realizes the target doesn’t need to die and falls in love with him/her who knows? And then there would be engaging tussle back and front to save the target. But that wasn’t the premise. Although it could have been an interesting one.
However, the premise of Ava was explored on the balance she has to make while being an assassin while also being a daughter/sister. The emotional shallowness within her which has remained in the entirety is really good to watch and Ava has given her all to this role but the mess in her personal relationship has been loosely constructed and the origins of it have not been prioritized. No visuals of Ava’s father who levelled an false allegation on her for stealing money for drugs in garb to save an affair he was having outside marriage has only rendered our ties with Ava. Michael, her ex-fiancé whom she left without a goodbye for 8 years, her sister whom she deserted and had to take care of her mother alone, all these personal characters were lifeless. They only existed for the sake of existing which only made it more difficult to connect emotionally with Ava. It felt like the obstacles in her personal life were forcefully laid upon and not creatively build up.
Simon, the protégé of Duke, is convinced that Ava is out of line and he tries to kill Ava twice. But for Duke, Ava is like a daughter he tries to protect every time. A fight between the two Proteges erupts but even this premise seems to be fairly underdeveloped. It felt that the writers were clueless about which part should we really focus on. Should we focus on the fast paced Assassins life or should we stress upon her interpersonal relationship? In the midst of this the makers forgot that they have a climax to deliver and the over-stretching of the above two aspects only dragged the movie to it’s end, handing us with an unsatisfactory unpolished climax. The climax being the face off between Ava and Simon. A feisty fight between a female and a male assassin with all their hand to hand fight techniques they learned while in the army would have been a palpable desert after the main-course that went horribly wrong. But, even that didn’t end well. Expectations were very high as Jessica Chastain came out very strong in her previous feminist themes films. The action sequences were poorly choreographed and didn’t managed to impress or left me astonished.
Overall, the kind of roles Jessica managed to pull from Interstellar, Zero Dark Thirty and Molly’s Game had only raised the stakes higher. But Ava, seems like a speed bump she would have to resist and watch out in future. The movie lags in focus and pace, thereby ending up directionless, also dismantling the equilibrium. You can only watch Eva for the love of Jessica Chastain.
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