Red Sparrow

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Red Sparrow
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IMDb: 6.6
In an alternate timeline, the US and Russia are  still at each other’s throats. A full blown war   is not an option for both of them, so they  have reverted to spying. But the traditional   spies have also become outdated and easy  to catch. Hence, the Russians have formed a   group of female spies, who have mastered the  art of seduction. They find their targets,   seduce them, have coetus with them, and  then extract the required information.  The opening scene introduces Dominika Egorova,  a prominent ballet dancer from Russia. Ever   since her teens, she has been dancing and  taking care of her ailing mother. One day,   Dominika entrusts her mother to a caretaker and  heads to work. She meets with various guests,   including her uncle Ivan, who serves as  the deputy director of Russia's Foreign   Intelligence Service, SVR. During the  meet and greet, a gangster named Dmitri   Ustinov asks Dominika for a picture and uses  the opportunity to touch her inappropriately.   Shortly after, the performance begins,  and Dominika dances beautifully,   impressing the audience. Unfortunately, soon,  her dance partner jumps and lands on her leg,   breaking it badly. As a result, Dominika is  rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. Following this, we are introduced to Nate Nash,  a CIA agent working in Moscow. One day, as he is   about to meet one of his assets in Gorky Park, he  is unexpectedly confronted by the police. Swiftly   thinking on his feet, Nate creates a distraction  by firing shots at the ground. This ensures the   safety of his Russian mole codenamed Marble,  who escapes without being identified. However,   Nate is taken into custody by the authorities  during the chaos. He is then escorted to the   safety of the American Embassy, where he meets his  superiors. They inform him that Marble is safe,   but he is to be deported back  to the US due to his mistake. The next day, Ivan visits the  director of the SVR and General   Vladimir Korchnoi. They show him video  footage of Nate's meeting in Gorky Park,   and explain that their primary interest  lies in the unidentified individual. The scene then shifts back to Dominika, who wakes  up in a hospital bed to discover that her leg is   now encased in a metal frame. She is devastated  when she realizes that she will never dance again.   Months pass, but Dominika is still walking with  the help of a cane. One day, Uncle Ivan visits her   and reveals that her replacement has been found,  which means that her workplace will no longer   provide her with any benefits. Hence, he offers  to help Dominika and asks her to come to him   once she’s ready. Before leaving though, he hands  her an envelope containing intimate pictures of   her former dance partner and her replacement, as  well as a recording of their conversation, which   implies that her partner intentionally caused  the accident so that his girlfriend could take   her place. This revelation angers Dominika, so she  goes straight to the theater to keep an eye on her   former partner and his girlfriend. After watching  them practice, she follows them to the steam room   where they start making out. In a fit of rage,  Dominika attacks them with her cane, exacting her   vengeance. On her way back, she stops by a phone  booth and reports the incident as an accident. After this, Dominika, now with her career  in ruins, turns to her uncle for help. He   agrees to assist her, but only if  she returns the favor. The SVR is   interested in gaining more information  on the gangster from earlier: Dmitri,   so he asks Dominika to befriend him and earn his  trust using her feminine charms. Though hesitant,   Dominika has no other choice, as her  mother’s medical expenses are high. That night, Dominika goes to the hotel where  Dmitri is staying, dressed beautifully, and heads   to the bar to catch his eye. As she expected,  Dmitri approaches her and asks how he can assist   her. She expresses her desire to feel special  once again, and they proceed to a private room,   leaving Dmitri's guards outside. After a while, he  asks her to undress and immediately gets to work   like a madman. But right then, a person wearing a  black helmet enters the room and murders Dmitri.   The intruder then throws a coat at Dominika to  cover her bloodied body and rescues her through   the back door. The man turns out to be an SVR  agent named Constantine sent by Ivan. Soon after,   Ivan comes to Dominika and presents her with a  choice: either become an SVR operative or face   execution for witnessing Dmitri's murder.  As expected, she chooses to work for them. Following this, Dominika is enrolled in  the harsh and rigorous State School 4,   which specializes in training Sparrows;  SVR operatives skilled in using sexpionage   to seduce their targets. Upon her  arrival, she is greeted by Matron,   the headmistress of Sparrow, who gives her a new  identity and leads her inside. The very next day,   classes commence and Matron delivers a speech on  the current world chaos, emphasizing how Russia   is the only country willing to make sacrifices to  fix it. She also announces to the students that   their bodies now belong to the state and they are  obligated to perform any task assigned to them. In the next scene, Nate meets with a CIA panel,  who decides to suspend him for his blunder in   Russia. However, Nate argues that he has worked  with Marble for years and that nobody else can   be trusted. His plea is eventually taken into  consideration, and he is given a second chance   to redeem himself. Nate is then assigned to the  nearest city, Budapest, to reestablish contact   with Marble. But unknown to them, their  every move is being monitored by the SVR. Back in the state school 4, Matron teaches  the Sparrows how to identify what their   target wants. She displays several images  on TV and asks them to identify their wants.   The first one is incorrectly answered  by an arrogant student named Victor,   and Dominika corrects him. This makes him the  laughing stock in front of everyone. Another   female student correctly guesses the second,  and she is summoned to the front of the class   in order to satisfy a guy. The girl gets down  on her knees however, she is unable to do so.  The following day, the students are asked to  welcome a troop of soldiers who have recently   returned from combat. Dominika selects a young  man and takes him to a private room where she   pleases him. Later, the performance is observed by  Matron and the other students. Matron comments on   Dominika’s performance, saying that her technique  was good but she still hasn’t learned to give   herself up. After class, as Dominika is taking  a shower, Victor comes from behind and tries to   assault her, but she bravely defends herself by  hitting him with a water tap. The incident causes   a huge uproar and General Vladimir himself arrives  at the school to investigate. He asks Dominika why   she did it, to which she responds that she  serves the state, not her fellow student. In the next class, Dominika is called to the front  by Matron, while Vladimir watches through a CCTV   camera. Matron presents a picture of Victor and  asks Dominika to identify his desires. Just then,   Victor is brought into the room and Matron  orders Dominika to give him what he wants.   Our protagonist undresses herself and sits on the  table with her legs open, egging him to take her.   However, Victor, who is still terrified from the  earlier incident, leaves without even touching   her. Dominika then answers Matron’s question that  he wants power. This impresses Vladimir, so he   assigns her to a mission in Budapest. Her job is  to gain Nate's trust and reveal Marble's identity. Agreeing to the mission, Dominika travels  to Budapest and shares accommodation with   fellow Sparrow: Marta, under the supervision  of SVR station chief Maxim Volontov. She then   begins following Nate and goes to the  same swimming pool where he goes. She   intentionally bumps into him and has a brief chat,  pretending to be a translator for the embassy. The next day, Dominika heads to the swimming  pool but doesn't find Nate there. Furthermore,   she learns that her ID is missing. It  turns out that Nate has already figured   out that she's a Russian spy trying to  uncover Marble's identity. He reports   this to his superiors and recognizes  her potential value. Hearing this,   his superiors grant him permission to get  closer to Dominika to gather more information. Later, Dominika visits the embassy and discovers  Marta talking with an American politician named   Stephanie Boucher. Not long after, Nate approaches  Dominika and confesses to taking her ID from the   pool. Upon realizing that he's aware of her  mission, she reveals her true intentions. The   two then have a short conversation and agree to  meet for dinner the following day. Afterwards,   Dominika returns to her apartment and  searches Marta's room, where she discovers   that Marta has been tasked with buying  confidential information from Stephanie. The next day after work, she tails the  station chief: Maxim to a bar and requests   him to provide her more time by sending a good  report to Moscow. In order to make him do so,   Dominika prods him into hitting her. Now that his  act is caught on cameras, she blackmails him into   sending a better report or else she’ll turn him  in to the police. Meanwhile, Nate is waiting for   her at the restaurant, but when she doesn’t show  up for a long time, he leaves, assuming that she   ditched him. Unbeknownst to him, Dominika follows  him to his place. She rings the doorbell, and he   covertly lets her in. Nate frantically inquires  how she found his place, and Dominika turns up the   TV volume to ensure that they can't be overheard  before asking him about what happened in Gorky   Park. After receiving the answer, she kisses him,  but he stops her midway and asks her to go home. The following day, Dominika receives  an unexpected visit from Ivan,   who wants to check on her progress with Nate.  Feeling pressured to buy more time, she makes   up a lie and tells him that she's also working  on Stephanie's case with Marta, but will require   additional funding. Ivan gives it a thought and  decides to leave for now. While getting his coat,   Dominika manages to sneak a look at his passport  to gather intel on him. Later that evening,   Dominika returns home to shockingly find Marta's  lifeless body in the bathtub. Before she can   even comprehend what happened, Constantine, the  same SVR agent from earlier, appears from behind   and grabs her by the neck. He then explains that  this is what happens to those who share secrets. Meanwhile, Nate informs his  superiors about Marble's new message,   which confirms that Dominika is a sparrow.  Although his superiors view her as a threat,   Nate believes that she's still recruitable.  The next evening, he brings Dominika to her   apartment and admits that he knows her real  identity. Dominika, in turn, reveals her story,   emphasizing that her only concern is her  mother's safety. Nate then offers her a   deal to become a double agent for him, promising  her protection in return. After thinking it over,   Dominika asks if she can trust him. He assures her  that she can and the two end up becoming intimate. In the morning, Dominika meets with  Nate's superiors, who subject her   to a lie detector test to assess her  reliability. When she passes the test,   she asks for money, claiming that she can  buy them information from Stephanie Boucher. On Friday, Dominika travels to London with Maxim  to meet Stephanie and execute the transaction. She   stays in a hotel room that the CIA has specially  prepared for her with security cameras and a set   of discs hidden under a desk, which she can  swap for the real ones later. Shortly after,   Stephanie arrives at the hotel, and Dominika  approaches her, claiming that she is sent by   Marta. Once Stephanie is convinced, she hands  over the discs in exchange for the money.   Dominika pretends to authenticate the discs but  in reality, she switches them with the fake ones. After the deal, Stephanie realizes that she's  being monitored by American intelligence   agents. In a state of panic, she throws  the money in the trash and tries to cross   the street. But unfortunately, she only  ends up getting hit by a truck and dying   on the spot. Russian agents watching the  whole incident assume that their mission   has been compromised. They also suspect  that Dominika and Maxim were the ones   who tipped off the Americans, so the  two are ordered to return to Moscow. Upon their arrival, Ivan seizes the  discs and apprehends both Dominika and   Nate. Despite their protests of innocence,  they endure excruciating torture for days,   and Maxim is even executed. However,  Dominika remains adamant in her denial   of involvement with the Americans. Eventually,  Ivan begins to believe her and allows her to go   back to Budapest to carry out her original  mission of extracting Marble's identity. Upon reuniting with Nate, Dominika enjoys a  romantic evening with him at his residence.   However, in the middle of the night, she wakes  up to discover Constantine subjecting Nate to   torture in order to obtain Marble's identity. At  first, Dominika feigns complicity with Constantine   and even assists in inflicting harm on Nate.  But when he is distracted, she assaults him,   enabling Nate to break free from his restraints.  The two then team up against Constantine and   manage to take him down, but they endure  serious injuries during this process. In the next scene, Dominika wakes up at  the hospital where she receives a surprise   visit from General Vladimir. Shockingly, he  reveals himself as the mole: Marble. Vladimir,   who is a former patriotic official, confesses  that he became disillusioned with Russia's   rampant corruption when his sick wife was denied  treatment from an American doctor. Fearing that   he will soon be caught and his sacrifice will be  in vain, Vladimir instructs Dominica to expose   him to Ivan. Doing so would make her a national  hero, and allow her to replace him as a mole. Dominica thinks the idea is absurd, but  after a lot of convincing, she decides to   turn herself in to the authorities. She  asks to speak to the Russian ambassador,   and when her wish is granted, she explains  that she has the name of the mole. However,   she will only reveal his name  in exchange for her freedom.  In the aftermath of the conversation, an  exchange meeting is scheduled at an airport.   Nate is assigned to accompany Dominika  in order to confirm the mole's identity.   He is deeply upset as he feels used and betrayed  by Dominika's actions. However, she has a surprise   for him. Shortly after, the Russians approach  them with the mole, whose face, when uncovered,   turns out to be Ivan. It is revealed that Dominika  had been fabricating evidence to frame her uncle   ever since she arrived in Budapest and even blamed  him for the botched exchange in London. Shocked,   Nate quickly confirms Ivan as the mole, and  just after the exchange, Ivan is shot by a   Russian sniper. After the exchange ends,  Dominika is taken away on a helicopter. In the final scene, we see her being  honored in a Russian military ceremony   attended by General Vladimir. Dominika is now  living a good and free life with her mother,   something which she had always dreamt of. 
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