A Russian mute girl goes to Canada to find the people responsible for the death of her sister. This leads her straight into the underground world of sex trading, and as she's taking one person down at a time, she gets closer to the truth of what really happened to her sister.
This is a movie I featured in my Best of 2010 list. That was a rather poor year and I had to track down a few last picks just before finishing the list to even have 10 titles. And "Sweet Karma" is the one that landed at #10. And I don't regret it as it was my tenth favorite that year at the time, but if I went and did it now I wouldn't include this one. Both because I've say way more titles, and because upon second viewing it's not as strong. Although still a good movie!
It's another story of prostitution and the bad people that force them to it. We must've hit a record of movies about prostitution overall in the recent years; from the dramas about their daily lives, to the much rougher sex trade world. This is the latter, but it's done almost as an action/thriller at times, making this lead different from many innocent little girls we so, to a brutal scumbag killer with a motive. And maybe that's the problem at times. The story is about Karma, a Russian mute girl. She leaves her country to find the people that killed her sister. Her sister went there thinking she would be a cleaner, but she was tricked into prostitution handled by some really bad guys. Karma goes under cover as a prostitute to track down her sister's killer.
An emotional story, sure, but I think at times we forget about that because she's more like an action hero. Which doesn't mean that the movie is bad, I quite like the scenes where she kicks their asses or kills them brutally. But purely on an emotional level (the emotions which also are in control of how disturbing and bleak a film is) I think it misses the target a lot of the times. Except for maybe the very end, which I have mixed feelings about - in a good way. It's answers a few questions and raise even more. But mostly I would call this a modern exploitation. It's not a film that strives to recreate the 70's. Instead it's fresh and contemporary, leaving the old behind and gives us an exploitation story that works NOW. And that's actually why I ended up putting this in the Best of 2010 list.
Shera Bechard is really good as Karma. She's a very likable girl, and definitely good to look at as well. She's equally innocent as she is dominant, and we don't doubt for a second that she's capable to kick some serious ass. I prefer that over the "raise-to-the-occasion-virgins". As a mute character she manages to be full of emotions and you can see what she's thinking.
"Sweet Karma" might've lost some of its modern exploitation charm upon second viewing, but it's a good movie. Not as depressing as I remembered it to be, but has a story good enough to hook us in. You might not find the most original film with this one. I can guarantee that you'll be okay with that, however. And that's the key here - it's familiar, but well-acted and entertaining enough that it'll keep us interested in the story of Karma and her sister. Check it out if you think it's something for you! Chances are that it is.