Red Sparrow Movie Review

Dennise Reynoso, Writer

The release of the new Red Sparrow movie early this month elicited, for the most part, very negative reviews. This reaction was surprising, considering how most of the films Jennifer Lawrence, actress and Oscar award winner, has starred in have been well received.


The film follows the story of Dominika Egorova, a prima ballerina who’s coerced into becoming an escort for the Russian intelligence Agency. Its is an intense and gripping tale that is based of the novel Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews, a former operative in the C.I.A. Jennifer Lawrence’s character is trained as a Sparrow, an agent specialized in sedition and espionage.


Film critics have admonished the film for its nudity, calling it excessive and remarking that it adds to the films lack of depth. On the contrary, the films use of explicit scenes, albeit were pretty graphic, contributed to the movies realism and added a startling edge that felt necessary to the telling of the story. As Jason Mathews, the writer of the Red Sparrow, claims the events depicted in the film were fairly correct saying they, “did get it right. They stayed fairly close to the plot of the Red Sparrow book. Generally, the tradecraft is authentic and reflected the old Cold War techniques.”


Any less than the brutality shown in the film would have been sugar coating a hideous side of the Russian spy agency who has has been built a legacy on the drastic measures it has taken for the sake of protecting the state.


Omitting these harsh scenes would have also diminished the significant sentiment within the film, that being empowerment. The audience is privy to all the pain and humiliation Dominika undergoes to emphasize the power and strength she posses to overcome it. Jennifer Lawrence herself attested her how she was able to “get back” something she lost while in the role, referring to the violation of privacy after her private photos were hacked.


This is a story of endurance and hope. A story for all women and men who have had something stolen from them. In the end of the story, a distinct semblance of peace falls on Lawrence’s character as she accepts all that has happened and rises above it.  


Red Sparrow is in theaters as of Friday, March 2.