Described by other reviewers as bleak, I found the dark mood of this story somewhat balanced by the humanity shown by others, strangers to the woman, who also suffer similar if not worse dilemmas than the woman. Her journey is her own, solitary and with great risk, but she is never invisible to others. Life in this Siberian town may be cold and harsh, but is life in any modern city any less warm?
This tale is also a chilling glimpse of a dystopian future. Beautifully acted, this is not a slow plodding European arty movie. It is fast, efficiently told, and has avoided being sensationalist. The script is precise and the main character has the gravitas, integrity and virtue that a viewer can admire in a hero.
I thought this movie was a thousand times better than the ridiculous Dunkirk supposedly depicting war and madness. And what can I say about the much undeservedly feted movie 'Mother' that attempts to depict a similar theme as this film with nonsensical storyline and gratuitous violence? I don't know why Child 44 is not admired more. It is a very fine film, and deserves accolades.
I laughed a lot. The reference to other movies and adult themes was very clever and funny (ie Matrix, Elvis impersonators, etc). The Boss baby character is hilarious. I loved the reflections on parenthood, feeding the baby, dummy sucking, milk bottles, diapers (nappies), vomit, lack of sleep, etc. Sibling competition for parental attention is demonstrated well. The new baby is always the 'boss baby' in any family! The story made me wonder- was it all the child's imagination? The ending was heartwarming and overall, this movie was a nice surprise.
The most preposterous part is when our poetic lovers are stranded in the desert due to a plane crash involving the grieving husband. As she is injured, and her husband lies dead, her besotted lover leaves her alone with a flashlight and her precious Herodotus in a cave in the middle of the desert and walks to get help. Yes, that's right. With an ankle fracture her fate is sealed when he leaves her alone, whilst he embarks on a 3 day journey through the desert to return with a car. He is unsuccessful (there is a war after all). After a substantial period of time, he returns to the cave. Her body would be either desiccated or bloated, yet she is shown as fresh as the moment he left her when he lifts her in his arms and puts her in a plane again. Taking off, he crashes again in the desert and is burned to near death, but taken by passing Arabs to a hospital (through the desert again). A nurse, abandons her duties to wounded soldiers to feed and administer morphine repeatedly to this one selfish man for a substantial period of time, and she is portrayed as an angel.
This movie sentimentalises and romanticises war. The love story is puerile and gross. I think lovers of cinematography might like it.
This movie created many now famous quotes, the most obvious being "are you an effective team?". This viewer was left with a lingering flavour of a world with new potential and capacity to renew itself. I can watch this movie again and again.