‘Red Sparrow’ Review

Red SparrowRed Sparrow is a thriller spy film directed by Francis Lawrence and written by Justin Haythe, based on the Jason Matthews novel of the same name. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Jeremy Irons, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, and Mary-Louise Parker and tells the story of Dominika Egorova, a Russian ballerina turned SVR agent, who is sent to Budapest to make contact with a CIA agent named Nathaniel “Nate” Nash and discover the identity of his mole. Dominika soon falls for a Nash and considers becoming a double agent for the CIA. Francis Lawrence does a fantastic job directing this film. He knows exactly how to frame scenes to build the tension and suspense. No matter which character is onscreen you can never figure out where their allegiances lie. Of course, all of this is made possible because of the superb dialogue written by Justin Haythe. The acting in the film is sensational with Jennifer Lawrence standing out as Dominika. Lawrence is fearless in what is her most daring role yet. Dominika is tough, intelligent, and prideful. She never gives up and never gives in and will do anything to come out on top. Once she goes to the state school to become a “Sparrow” she continues to do things her own way, no matter what the Matron says. Even with those strong traits, Lawrence manages to squeeze in some innocence and unsureness, making Dominika a very well-rounded character. Joel Edgerton turns in a superb performance as Agent Nash. Nash is smarter than the average agent and is usually one step ahead of the other characters. Even though he knows his job comes first he still has a heart. This causes his emotions to get the better of him affecting his decision-making skills. Matthias Schoenaerts is also great as Ivan Egorov, Dominika’s uncle who is intelligent and somewhat conniving. It is his actions that get the story moving forward. Whenever he shares the screen with Lawrence it feels a bit unnerving and abnormal. Their characters are similar yet different which makes their relationship more interesting. Charlotte Rampling is quite interesting as Matron, the Headmistress of Sparrow School. She does things throughout the film that are discomforting, but it’s just a part of her job. While some of the new recruits show apprehension towards their education, she is quite numb to it. Jeremy Irons and Mary-Louise Parker are also good in their roles as General Vladimir Korchnoi and Senator Stephanie Boucher, though they are minor. The film is a slow burn, but it never lulls. The characters are very fascinating, and the story keeps the viewer interested. The film also manages to show that the life of a “Sparrow” is not great and does it’s best not to glorify the profession. The action sequences are very minor given what the trailer leads you to believe, yet the film does not suffer for it. I give Red Sparrow a Decent 8.4/10. Francis Lawrence delivers a truly captivating post-Cold War spy thriller.

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