Based on the first of a trilogy by Tom Rob Smith and set in the Stalin era of the Soviet Union. The plot is about an idealistic pro-Stalin security officer who decides to investigate a series of child murders in a country where supposedly this sort of crime doesn't exist. The state would not hear of the existence of a child murderer let alone a serial killer. He gets demoted and exiled but decides, with just the help of his wife, to continue pursuing the case.Written by
The Ukranian orphan Leo is raised by a Russian family and becomes national hero during the World War II. In the 50's, Captain Leo Demidov (Tom Hardy), his best friend Alexei Andreyev (Fares Fares) and the coward Vasili Nikitin (Joel Kinnaman) join the Ministry of State Security (MGB) during the political regime of Stalin and Leo marries Raisa Demidov (Noomi Rapace). When Alexei's son is found murdered completely naked near the railway, the official explanation is that the boy was hit by a train since there is no murder in paradise since it is a capitalist disease. But Leo finds other similar cases and proceeds investigating, falling in disgrace with the Party. He loses his rank and is transferred with Raisa to Volsk to work with General Mikhail Nesterov (Gary Oldman). When a body of another boy is found near the railway in the same conditions of Alexei's son, Leo convinces Nesterov that there is a serial-killer and he agrees that Leo conducts a further investigation. Meanwhile the ambitious Vasili tries to persuade Raisa to leave Leo and move to Moscow to stay with him. What will happen to Leo and Raisa?
"Child 44" is a film with a promising storyline, great performances but not engaging. The political subplot is weird and raises the doubt whether it is true the premise that "there is no murder in paradise" or it is an anti-soviet propaganda as mentioned in the previous review. In a controlled political society by a dictatorship, it is expected low crime rates as consequence. But why not secretly investigate a serial-killer? My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "Crimes Ocultos" ("Hidden Crimes")
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