You can experience Daniél Espinosa talked about movie “Child 44″ – a crime drama that depicts Stalin’s Soviet Union as overly grim and disgusting to be displayed in an Putin Russia preening on old imperieklenoder – in several ways and on different levels. Normally would surely this can be both commendably and desirable, but here it becomes more problematic.
If you choose to disconnect the brain and just enjoy the film with your eyes, get up to life one to one start slow but gradually more and more thrilling suspense film in the spectacularly sinister environments (a computer animated Moscow reminds us of Mordor, the Russian countryside is depleted hell where the sun never shines). It is in this respect perfectly normal pattern of the genre: an unruly cop – the Muscovite Inspector Leo (Tom Hardy) – defies his superiors and insist to pursue an investigation that no one wants to hear about, even though it costs.
Truth be told at any price. He may be the lackey of a dirty regime, but everything can not tolerate. The limit is small children. One boy’s corpse after another shows up with clear signs of torture, but the authorities insist vexatious to the case of accidents. But Leo let themselves not be brushed aside.
And of course – why not? Surely we can withstand even a tribute to the recluse with spine and balls of steel. Especially as the craftsmanship of the hard, shattering violence scenes measure up.
But the “Child 44″ has greater ambitions; it wants to, I guess, convey insights about the dictatorship of the essence and how people are affected by forced into a thoroughly corrupt social system: surveillance, angiveriet, purges. And in that sense, the film is so incoherent and contradictory that it becomes incomprehensible.
It all seems more like a personnel issue than a system. The coward wretch Vasily (Joel Kinnaman) intrigues upwards in the security police. Cowardice and vileness underlined by every glance and gesture. He shoots parents before the children’s eyes. He yearn for Leo’s beautiful wife Raisa (Noomi Rapace). When the opportunity presents itself, he attacks Leo. There is some sort of revenge for all the slights, real and possibly imagined.
Leo is in everything Vasilijs opposite: brave and forthright. But how different their actions in practice? Leo is willing to ask the friendly before sending the detainees to torture and execution. The threat is pronounced and the result is quite the same. Is not the system’s opponents and victims who deserve our sympathies? The film implies that the difference between Basil and Leo is that the latter only allows murdering the guilty. Really? Guilty of what?
The same applies to Gary Oldman General Nestrov, who zealously persecute homosexuals out of the province and drives them to suicide. Suddenly he belongs to the good, because he is involved in Leo’s murder investigation. “Child 44″ is far too blunt to get to some interesting arguments in this web of complexity.