In Child 44, agent Leo Demidov (Tom Hardy), member of the secret police, of Soviet Russia loses everything when he refuses to denounce his wife, Raisa (Noomi Rapace). In his exile from Moscow he joins forces with General Mikhail Nesterov (Gary Oldman) as they track down a serial killer preying on young boys.
This political thriller, and murder mystery, gives a totally different insight to the workings of the communist regime. An oft overlooked aspect of any story to do with the post World War II era.
The acting in Child 44 is top notch, with the three main actor delivering excellent performances. The cinematography leaves us with a reminder of what it must have been like to have a state that had such a close control over its people, with their doctrines.
The story of Child 44 exists on several levels, a story of one the balance one man’s loyalty, to his country and to his wife. Not forgetting his determination to solve the crimes of what might be a serial killer, all despite the fact that the soviet authorities do not believe that a murder can take place in their paradise. Child 44 also looks at blind loyalty, and how people can look past the facts that are right before them, as they hold such strong opposing views.
While there are many story aspects to follow, at some stages, the viewer does feel that they are searching for meaning, much like Leo himself. Some parts of the film do feel a bit slower, and one is left pondering what happens next, and searching for clues and meaning. This at least does mean that from one moment to another, you are at a loss if you are looking to anticipate the plot.
Child 44 is an enjoyable look at a life that many are grateful to be free of, and this story, combined with excellent acting and filmmaking, makes for an enjoyable movie.
Child 44 opens in South African cinemas on 8 May 2015.