Child 44: Movie Review

"Child 44" features a gripping mystery mixed with deep political undertones on regular life inside Soviet Russia. This is in part to a star-studded cast who mostly gave outstanding performances. While the primary story of catching a "non-existent" serial killer was engaging to say the least, the countless subplots throughout the film greatly muddled an otherwise praise worthy mystery-thriller.

It is 1953 in Soviet Russia, secret police agent Leo Demidov (Tom Hardy) loses status, power and home when he refuses to denounce his own wife, Raisa (Noomi Rapace), as a traitor. Exiled from Moscow to a grim provincial outpost, Leo and Raisa join forces with General Mikhail Nesterov (Gary Oldman) to track down a serial killer who preys on young boys. Their quest for justice threatens a system-wide cover-up who insists “There is no murder in Paradise.”

"Child 44" isn't just a mystery thriller but more so, it is a looking glass into the stiff and cruel Soviet life during Stalin's reign. We do get the novelty of this and it definitely adds a certain twist that made things just a little bit more interesting. Sadly, this is also the same device that hampers its effectiveness. Let's just say that the film is loaded with subplot upon subplot and unfortunately we could easily consider most as non-essential filler material. They do add to the immersive experience but at times, we just wanted the story to move on. Even the very last scene of the movie resolved a subplot introduced very early in the film. Acting-wise and technical wise, the film was simply perfect. It had outstanding camera work, great sounds and noteworthy performances from its cast especially Tom Hardy. Overall, we really liked "Child 44" but it could have used some heavy trimming.

Rating: 4 reels

Why you should watch it:
- gripping performances from the cast
- main story was gripping

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the film is bloated with unnecessary subplots

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