“Red Sparrow” Review ✦✦✦✦✧

1 March, 2018

Director: Francis Lawrence
Screenwriter: Justin Haythe
Director of Photography: Jo Willems
Jennifer LawrenceJoel EdgertonMatthias Schoenaerts

Synopsis: Following a life-changing injury which leaves her unable to care for her sick mother, a young ballerina is tricked into becoming a spy for a Russian intelligence agency who send her on a daring cross-border mission involving an American agent.

Red Sparrow Review:

The film “Atomic Blonde” should’ve been with more appetising flavours than those of a neon-lit action bore, “Red Sparrow” is a post-Bourne remedy in a time of strict identities and unwavering moral codes, eradicating the accepted divide between good and evil by kicking ass without consistently shooting for one team. Ticking with wristwatch precision and added suspense, “Red Sparrow” is a step ahead of the best, turning a so-so mystery into a memorable night at the movies by never once allowing the bland inner-workings of old-school fiction to take precedence over the enigmatic qualities of names, numbers, faces, and places as experienced in the current moment.

A performance thriller that’s as poetic as it is bittersweet, “Red Sparrow” never falters on the stylistics, feeling distinctively Russian in both attitude and mindset in scenes forever faithful to the essence of the Eastern Bloc. Playing for both sides while prizing professional success over the sentiment of true loyalty, Lawrence’s titular spy remains smart and sexy while shrouded in ambiguity, baring all yet rejecting ownership in scenes of stark defiance under the guise of vulnerability. While a lot could be said about the film’s intriguing relationship with Lawrence’s own public persona, “Red Sparrow” quite proficiently shields its star from harsh analysis, detaching her from public scrutiny by allowing her to flourish in a quite believable and somewhat transformative lead role.

Hypnotic during even the simplest of exchanges, Lawrence’s conspicuous agent is rendered believable through the coolness and subtlety of her multifaceted character, entrancing viewers whose confusion in the face of uncertain allegiance casts the same spell as it does on her unwitting targets. Always prizing the ‘how’ over the ‘who’ and the ‘why’, the film discards transparent plotting for the sake of good cinema, identifying narrational weakness and eliminating it like a pre-mapped target assigned to a silent assassin. Noticeably detached from the beats of a conventional Tinker Tailor spy movie, “Red Sparrow” gives us five films in one and doesn’t hold back on the violence, slicing skin and spreading legs in moments of preconceived brutality and unkempt seduction.


Review Date
Red Sparrow