Red Sparrow



05 March 2018| No Comments on Red Sparrow     by Sean Chavel



If you’re like me and you thought “Salt” with Angelina Jolie and [especially] “Atomic Blonde” with Charlize Theron were bulls*** than here we have something more true to life with a truly magnetic Jennifer Lawrence to boot. Red Sparrow is based on a novel by Jason Matthews but it seems to have an insider’s knowledge cut out of the real dirty dehumanizing aspects of espionage life. Lawrence is a Moscow ballerina whose career is cut short in the opening scenes, and by coercive circumstances, is sucked into the spy life.

For young women, the spy life means being a mole and a whore go hand in hand. At a top secret school, a matron (Charlotte Rampling) teaches by any method for her girls to be desensitized by sex so they can learn how to seduce, and allow themselves to be treated like meat. It’s the most compelling section of the movie and one that goes by too hurriedly. It’s disturbing yet nakedly candid in a way that makes you want to know more.

The rest of the movie is densely packed spy plots, with so much information hurled at you that it’s as much work to navigate through as John le Carre. There is intrigue in how corrupt Americans sell defense secrets to Russia, and there’s an American spy (Joel Edgerton) who wants to give Dominique an opportunity to be a double spy. All of it is entrancing, but there’s so much of it that it can be exhausting by the two hour mark with another twenty minutes to go. The film has its brutal violence on women sections, and a couple of the male characters endure terrible repercussions. But Lawrence has some bravura moments turning the tables on lecherous men.

“Red Sparrow” is not conventionally exciting except you could call it exciting in the way that you’re watching dilemmas that ring of cruel honesty. This is not an action-adventure. It’s a kind of riveting hell where you think, “Some off the record girl sold her story to some novelist out there somewhere, and now it’s a major motion picture.” I definitely got a lot out of the movie and it’s certainly one of the better of its kind since “La Femme Nikita” (1991).

140 Minutes. Rated R.


Film Cousins: “The Night Porter” (1975); “La Femme Nikita” (1991, France); “Salt” (2010); “Hanna” (2011).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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