Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Movie Review- Dearest 親愛的 ( How many children have been abducted that has yet to be found?)

Just had to share my thoughts on this movie that I caught while on a business trip - yes- in the plane.
Dearest 親愛的

Based on a true story, the film centers on Tian Wenjun (Huang Bo), a divorced father in Shenzen who lets his son, 3 year-old Pengpeng, run off to play with neighborhood kids only for Pengpeng to get abducted while he was chasing his mother's car

Wenjun and ex-wife Lu Xiaojuan (Hao Lei) quickly mobilize to search for Pengpeng, but to no avail.

False reports.
Attempted scams.

What stuck in my mind was one incident where he jumps off a bridge into a river to escape scammers trying to steal his ransom money. Where this grown up man wails pitifully telling them bashing a knife pleading these thugs to let him go as he needs the money for his child.

The pain.
The desperation.

Three years later, Wenjun gets a message that a boy suspected to be Pengpeng is in a small village in a remote province. Working with Xiaojuan and friend Han Dezhong (Zhang Yi), Wenjun snatches the boy and runs. But the boy screams for this 'mother' whom he have stayed with for the past 3 years, Li Hongqin (Vicki Zhao), who gives chase along with the rest of the village.

The mix of thankfulness that he was 'trapped' in the hands of someone like Li Hongqin who loves him gives me comfort - as my fear of the recent report that appeared on facebook - of children being captured and sold into other countries as beggars together with anger as to how she can robbed the parents of 3 precious years with their child. And worse the fact that the child no longer identifies them - but instead cries out for Li Hongqin as his mother.

The fear in his eyes for his own parents.

Can 3 years make such a difference?

Love the child acting.
The change in facial expression.
The dazed look in the eyes.

As for Han Dezong (seemingly the cheerleader for the parents whose children have been kidnapped) , he experiences both elation and bitterness at Pengpeng’s return, because while he’s happy for Wenjun, his own child was never found. That gnawing sadness and hope that seems to fade - I can't imagine. Worse, if he and his wife want another child, they’ll have to clear it with the government due to the One Child Policy – and doing so requires that they willingly declare their first child to be dead.

But for parents whose child returns to them after the many years robbed, how their lives change.
The fear. The suspicion.

Wenjun, after getting back Pengpeng, leaves his house late at night to throw out the trash - and the scene shows him having a sleeping Pengpeng slung over his shoulder - the fear of losing him once again - so the safety is to bring him everywhere he goes.

The added in details of the sister that was truly abandoned and picked up by Li Hanqing who then try and get custody - was abrupt and made me wonder what was the intention for that? To portray the fact that there are indeed many abandoned children in the homes?

My personal take was that the front part of this movie was great. But as they added more characters in and cut short the deepening of plot in each scene, with many touch and gos - it lost me at the end of story and felt very unfocused. And this twist in the story that Li Hongqin indicates that her husband had bought the child to her saying he was abandoned confuses me even after the show ends.
 But the first part draws out many emotions among the viewers which I found made it still a good movie to watch.

Rating 4* out of 5*

Stolen Children

Also bring my thoughts to the article recently of orphanages being cover up for kidnapped children.
Sigh Sigh.

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