I've recently watched the movie Child 44, which is set in the 1950's Soviet Union during the Stalin regime. Apart from the fact that the movie itself is not memorable in my opinion, the thing that has bugged me the most is the way characters talk, which is in English language but with a strong eastern (Russian) accent. And I've been asking myself troughout the whole movie, why is that "necessary"?

Child 44 - Movie Trailer

What could possibly be the reason behind the choice of making Russian characters speak in that manner? They are all Russians, they are not interacting with foreigners, so why the thick accent?

Of course I understand the obvious choice of making a movie in English language, for commercial and casting reasons, but I still don't understand the need of constantly reminding us that they are Russians by using this annoying ruse and throwing some "Da" around.

I understand the reason for characterization (for instance: Italian-American mobsters), but this seems completely unjustified to me.

Does anybody know the reason (if there's any) behind this choice?

I'm positive that this is not the first, nor the only movie in which this "technique" for dialogues has been adopted, but I can't remember other examples at the moment.

  • 2
    Sounds like this trope: tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/JustAStupidAccent
    – Josh
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 12:59
  • 6
    I think this is just to make the audience aware that these are foreigners, e.g. non americans.
    – Thomas
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 12:59
  • 3
    What accent would you prefer? Queen's English? Flippancy aside, everyone has some kind of accent, so why not pick one that's close to where your characters are supposed to originate...
    – Basic
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 18:06
  • 3
    @Basic everyone has some kind of accent That's true but I can't shake the feeling of weirdness watching Russian characters struggling to speak a foreign language in their own country. But maybe I'm the weird one :) - Nice tutorial by the way :P
    – Pesetas74
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 18:59
  • 1
    I haven't seen the movie, and English is not my primary language so I'm not specially good with accents, but are there people that shouldn't speak Russian in that movie? For example, German, or something else? That could be a way to differentiate their origin. Plus each languages has their intonation, and that could help to show emotions ("natural" intonations in some words, or expression").
    – Larme
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 12:22


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