Released by Scribner in 2013, former CIA agent Jason Matthews first novel received much attention and praise. Reviewers felt it was a throwback to John le Carré’s best selling spy thrillers. Its realistic portrayal of the espionage trade while avoiding clichés opened up many readers’ eyes. By 2014, the novel won a number of awards, including much prestige for being a debut novel. Interestingly, even before the book’s debut, the movie rights were sold for seven figures. And now on March 2nd, 2018, that movie has been released as a starring vehicle for superstar Jennifer Lawrence.
Russian ballerina, Dominika Egorova, has an unfortunate accident that ruins her dancing career. With no guarantee to receive long-term disability, she is worried that her disabled mother will land on the streets with no home. Her uncle however offers her an option to help the Russian intelligence department in exchange for financial support. When things go wrong, she is indentured as a Red Sparrow, a type of Russian spy operative. This leads to a world she never thought existed. In a desperate play, she decides to break her own moral code in order to get out. But more importantly, will she be able to figure out a way to save her mother from homelessness and the government that was supposed to protect her?
The movie is directed by Francis Lawrence who worked with Jennifer Lawrence in the final three Hunger Game movies. The screen adaption was written by Justin Haythe known for such films as Revolutionary Road and A Cure For Wellness. The cast also includes a lineup of some very fine supporting members including Joel Edgerton, Charlotte Rampling, and Jeremy Irons. Dark Discussions Podcast takes a look at this throwback spy thriller and gives their thoughts.