When my husband suggested we watch Child 44 last night, I jumped at the chance. It’s Tom Hardy and I remember seeing some great trailers for it. One thing that I was impressed with was Hardy’s Russian accent.
The movie certainly didn’t disappoint, but it wasn’t anything that the trailer made it look like. My husband had already seen the movie, so had told me the basic storyline, but it didn’t have the happy ended that typical movies offer. For me, that was actually a good thing. It created an honest reality of the world and of 1950s Russia.
Russian Accents Were Mixed
Tom Hardy definitely had a great Russian accent. I would close my eyes and never guess that it was him. I’ve been impressed with his acting since first seeing him. I never even realized it was him when I watched Bronson, a movie about Britain’s most dangerous criminal that was filmed at my former college. When I watched Batman, I was also surprised to find out that he was playing Bane. Now I’m looking forward to Legend even more, but that’s another topic.
While Hardy’s accent was great, I was disappointed with some of the others. Gary Oldman attempted it but failed in places. I could just about accept that one, though, due to where he lived. I could almost accept that the accent would be different and that was what Oldman was going for. When it came to Charles Dance, I was deeply disappointed. It was easy to tell it was him just from the first sentence. It was like he didn’t even give it a shot.
Many of the other accents were great. Some I hadn’t even realized were British and American actors.
A Little More Action Please?
There was a lot of focus on the storytelling—how Hardy’s character Leo went from a decorated war hero to a fugitive of sorts. For those who haven’t even seen the trailer, the movie is about a string of murders in 1950s Russia; a place where murder couldn’t happen because “there’s no murder in paradise.”
I expected a lot more focus on the murders and catching the killer. Oldman wasn’t in the movie as much as I expected, and it was mainly focused on Hardy working out that crimes had been committed, as well as working with his wife who turned out to only marry him out of fear for her life!
But that didn’t mean I was disappointed by the movie. Actually, I really enjoyed the storytelling and seeing how Hardy’s character developed. I also really enjoyed seeing the relationship with his wife develop throughout the movie. Some of the twists I guessed and some of them I really didn’t, and that’s what made the movie enjoyable.
Not the Typical Happy Ending
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I have to admit in this Child 44 review, I almost expected a typical happy ending. I thought the murderer would be captured and interrogated, Hardy would be reinstated, the officer who had orchestrated Hardy’s fall end up disgraced and the officers to finally realize that murder was possible in paradise.
None of that happened! Well, not to the extent that I thought it would.
That’s what made the end of the movie more enjoyable for me. I was pleasantly surprised to find out the typical roll-your-eyes moments didn’t occur and that the author of the book (yes, the movie is based on a book with the same name) stuck to historical facts for the end. It would have been so easy to change it to make it happier.
Because of the ending, it really made me think about 1950s Russia—and how some of it is still very much the same. Some of it sent shivers down my spine, and I’m even more grateful to live in a country and time that is fairer, honest with itself and safer. It’s very easy to think the grass is greener on the other side, but the movie helped renew the idea that that isn’t always the case.
Overall, I’d give the movie 8/10. There are some aspects that are disappointing—like the accents—but overall I really enjoyed watching Child 44. I definitely recommend it to others, especially if you’re a Tom Hardy fan.
If you’re still not sure, here’s the trailer to get you into it. Just bear in mind what I said about it making it seem like something a little different to what it really is.
I'm Alexandria Ingham, and am a work at home mommy and full-time freelance writer. Writing has always been a passion from a young age, but it was only in 2009 that I decided to use it to make money online. Since then, I've managed to make a career out of it and don't regret it. While history and weight loss are two of my favorite topics, I love writing about absolutely anything and even have fictional pieces in the works.