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Trivia / Goofs
Summary / Analysis
Times of India
Leo Demidov (Hardy) is a reputed and respected member of the MGB, the Soviet military police. He falls from grace when he tries to protect the woman he loves, Raisa Demidova (Rapace), from being persecuted. He gets a second chance at restoring his career and reputation when he later investigates and tries to nab the person behind a series of gory killings.
At the beginning of the film, we see Leo flirt with the sublimely attractive Raisa at a dinner table while in the company of friends during one post war party. He doesn't mince words about how fine he thinks she looks. He is confident on the verge of being blustery. But she brings his feet back on the ground when she corrects him when he calls her by another woman's name, by mistake. He has no idea about what a pivotal role Raisa will play in his life in the years to come, by which time the two are deeply in love and almost inseparable.
But Leo isn't just a lover boy; when his friend's son is murdered, he takes it upon himself to uncover the identity of the criminal who goes about his grisly task with surgical precision. Cinematographer Philippe Rousselot gives Child 44 an authentically bleak and cold look, replete with shades of grey, brown and cloudy blues. The period detailing too is superb. However, Gary Oldman makes a curious choice a Soviet general and the film can drag at times due to its runtime. But that aside, what we do get is a revealing and no-holds-barred look at life behind the Iron Curtain. It busts the myth that the Russians, during the Cold war era, were emotionless propaganda machines.
Tom Hardy has clearly carved a niche for himself as an actor with versatility as his middle name. Right from his breakthrough performance in Inception to Mad Max: Fury Road and now this, if you do decide to watch this film, it will be to check out the kind of realism that Hardy brings to his character.
The film was banned in Russia
Christian Bale was reportedly in talks to play the lead instead of Tom Hardy.
Child 44 must be the only movie which had 5 and half hour long first film cut.
Tom Rob Smith's novel Child 44, on which the film is made, was directly inspired by the real life serial killer Andrei Chikatilo.
Set in the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War just after World War II, the movie looks at the life of Leo as he stands up to the diktats of Stalinist Russia. Agent Leo Demidov is a loyal member of the State. Leo is a decorated war hero and a true believer in the ideologies of the Communist Party. In exchange for security, rations, shelter, and comfort, Leo puts his personal feelings and morals aside when carrying out missions for the State. Leo is often sent on missions to kill or imprison those suspected of treason. Even as men beg for their lives under the threat of imminent death, Leo carries out the orders of his government. When children begin turning up dead, Leo looks the other way. But one day Leo is asked to arrest a man he knows is innocent. And then he is asked to arrest his own wife, Raisa. Conflicted, Leo flees with his wife and becomes an enemy of the State.
While on the run, Leo can no longer ignore his conscience when he realizes that a child murderer is on the loose and the government cannotâor will notâadmit the truth. Even though the children are found with identical carvings on their bodies, the State attempts to make their deaths appear coincidental. When the parents of these children try to get answers, they are also killed. Leo begins to look for answers regarding the child murders while trying to avoid being captured by the same men he used to command. As Leo pieces together the clues surrounding the murders, he discovers that the killer is closer than anyone would have thought, someone who also fought in World War II with him, but as a doctor who is now mentally unhinged. Leo ultimately corners the killer by Vasili Nikitin (Kinnaman) Towards the end of the movie, Leo and Raisa try to lead a normal life as a couple by adopting two children and giving them a new home.