Movie Review: The Red Sparrow Surprise


Since arriving back in Australia in August I have been making weekly visits to a cinema with my cousin.

Today we had an unplanned meeting at the shopping-center in which the cinema is located and had no prior knowledge of what was showing at the cinema.

Given that our choice of movie was dependent on convenient screen times, we had no choice but to watch a movie that we had steadfastly been ignoring for more than a month. We chose Red Sparrow starring Jennifer Lawrence – whoever she is. (I’ve just come back from 15 years of living in China and I didn’t know who she was).

With tickets in hand we entered the completely empty cinema and took our back row seats, and there we sat throughout the movie; the only occupants of that theatre.

When the movie started I had no idea what was happening or where the first few minutes were taking us and then finally the plot began to reveal itself. Boring stuff really – or so I thought – and then all of the intrigue began to unfold.

Having lived in China for 15 years (censorship) I was shocked by the graphic nature of the film. OK I admit it! I was somewhat titillated!

Every so often I would loudly inform my cousin that I was REALLY enjoying the movie. And then came that god-awful scene in the bathtub – but you aint gettin any spoilers from me.

The twists and turns in the plot were many and that scene at the end of the movie which stitched all of those twists and turns into the tapestry of the story reminded me of the way that the Doctor Who series always ends up connecting all those individual but insignificant episodes to reveal the grand design.

To put it simply, Red Sparrow was brilliant!

As the movie unfolded I began to realize who the mole was but heck – what a shock to realize who it REALLY was.

I’ve never read the book by Jason Matthews but he must be one hell of a good writer. I don’t know how the movie stacked up against the book, but kudos to the screenwriters and directors for such a brilliant result.

The basic plot – Russian-American cold war espionage – was especially significant at this point in time with the state of current Russian-American relations and after the movie I could not help but ponder the obvious irony demonstrated in the two different socio-political ideologies. If it came down to point scoring, the Russians would have definitely won the ‘Who are the most dedicated citizens’ contest; this demonstrated by the two Russians who gave up their freedom for the future greater glory of Mother Russia.

Red Sparrow was really one of the best movies I have seen in years.

Absolutely fantastic!

Red Sparrow

Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to ‘Sparrow School,’ a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a C.I.A. agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writers: Justin Haythe, Jason Matthews
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts
See full cast list.

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Finding Myself in China: A Politically Incorrect Story

Author: R.P. BenDedek

R.P. BenDedek (pseudonym) was born in 1953 in Brisbane Australia. From 2003 to August 2017 he lived and worked in The People's Republic of China. Along with photographic stories from China he has been writing social and political commentaries since 2004. He was editor of Magic City Morning Star from 2009 - 2016 and he has a column at He is the author of 'the King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran' and 'Finding Myself in China: A Politically Incorrect Story.' He is divorced; has 5 children and 16 grandchildren. He is a 4th generation Australian from a racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse family. He has no time for Sociopathic Ideologues or Useful Idiots.

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