Red Sparrow – Film Review

Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars

What’s it about?

Red Sparrow is a spy thriller directed by Francis Lawrence and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton and Jeremy Irons.

Set in the cold war era, Russian ballerina Dominika Egorova is forced to work for the government to hunt for a mole within the establishment who has been passing on secrets to the Americans. How she goes about doing this while navigating a world full of deceit and double cross, is what makes up for the rest of the film.

What’s Good?

At times, the film plays out like a classic Tom Clancy cold war era espionage novel where the stakes are high, the characters are not who they say they are and an undercurrent of intrigue laces the story. The cat and mouse games between the American and Russian spy agencies are fun in parts and keeps the viewer mildly interested in the proceedings. But what truly holds the film together is Jennifer Lawrence’s committed performance as the lead. She gives the role her all, and carries the film on her shoulders.

What’s Not?

The main issue with the film is with its pacing. It is a slow moving film and there are stretches where the viewer gets restless and wishes the film would move along. Another problem is the surprising lack of action in the film. The film feels episodic at times, with time jumps that change the personality traits of the lead characters and this is not done organically. The climax is cliché with the makers opting for a twist ending which is not convincing enough to leave any sort of impression on the viewer.

Performances

This is one of Jennifer Lawrence’s better performances in recent years. She is fully committed to the role and gives it her all and makes this film watchable. Joel Edgerton is decent but we have seen him give better performances in other films. Jeremy Irons is underutilized but gets one scene to shine and does a good enough job. Mary Louise Parker makes a nice little cameo. Rest of the cast are good in their respective roles.

Final Word

A spy film that works in parts, this is a one time watch on the small screen for genre fans.


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