Lifestyle · Movie

Movie Review: Dearest


Dearest starts showing today exclusively in GV Tiong Bahru, GV Yishun and GV VivocityI attended the premiere 2 days ago and the 135 minute movie felt like just an hour to me
The plot and screenplay deeply captured my focus
Amazing acting from the main cast touched my heart as the movie touches on a very realistic issue going on in China


Child abduction in China,
has been a longstanding problem
With the one child policy in place, made every child the apple of their parents’ eye
Every child is important, but in the case of China, it’s especially precious

The movie was shot in ShenZhen, Guangzhou and Chengde
Of all the child abduction news I’ve read, the most came from ShenZhen
Dearest reflects a true story of a divorced couple,  Tian Wen Jun and Lu Xiao Juan
shuffling their kid, Tian Peng back and forth from each of their home
Tian Peng was abducted when wandering off from the playground in pursuit of Lu Xiao Juan when he caught a glimpse of her car driving by
If I were a parent in China, I doubt I will ever take my eye of my kid
One split second is all it takes to lose the love of your life


We also see the huge income disparity in the countryWith people in the cities living in luxury and people in the rural areas who are manual labourers
Tian Peng is a city kid being abducted and left in the care of Li Hong Qin (Zhao Wei)


Zhao Wei’s screentime came in the later part of the movie
as the Abductor’s wife who had no idea that the kids under her care were stolen kids
Her abductor husband told her that she was not able to produce children, hence she has to treat the kids he brought home as her own
As a rural farmer, Li Hong Qin had no idea of finding out the truth and neither did she question nor doubt the situation given to her

Zhao Wei spoke Lower Yangtze dialect in the movie
I thought that was one of the best way she immersed herself into the role
She was a natural and with the shorter screentime she had compared to the other casts
She has effectively allowed you to think that she does not deserve to have the kids
and yet her determination powered from true motherly love
made you think otherwise
You may secretly hope that she can be blissful again


3 full years of not knowing whether Tian Peng was alive
no clue of his location
Tian Wen Jun was in despair
Lu Xiao Juan had regular visits to the psychiatrist


Tian Wen Jun brought Lu Xiao Juan to a support group led by Han
The support group consist of members who all have lost their child
They encourage each other by chanting a cheer
Though it may seem ridiculous at first, but you can feel that they had hope
Hope keeps you going
Hope keeps you thinking your child will be found

Han managed to eventually assist Tian Wen Jun to get Tian Peng backHe was helpful yet disappointed that after all his efforts, why isn’t his kid found?
Han imposed an opinion of not having another child
As it will just be a replacement for their lost child, and this will not be fair
Han exudes extreme emotions in the role
Being the leader, strong and motivating
and being the realistic father who suffered the agony of losing his child


Tian Peng lived in the rural area with Li Hong Qin for 3 years and also had a “little sister”
They were very close and this little girl is capable of breaking hearts
She was separated from Li Hong Qin and placed in ShenZhen orphange, awaiting adoption
Lu Xiao Juan wanted to make Tian Peng happy by adopting his “sister”
However, we would never know whether this adoption process is successful


A kind lawyer assisted Li Hong Qin at no cost
to achieve the adoption of her “daughter”
Kindness still exists….


When Tian Peng was found, he doesn’t seem to remember his real parents at all
However, in true life, he does acknowledge them


We were shown snippets of the real life Li Hong Qin, Tian Peng and Tian Wen Jun
The actors stood by the real life people which was heartwarming
The movie had an open ending which leaves it much to our own imagination
Hoping that things will be better for everyone!


Zhao Wei won the Best Actress award for this movie at The 10th Chinese American Film FestivalDearest is a movie that tugs your heartstrings
A very relevant documentary of a true story betold
Watch the trailer and catch the movie soon!


Official Synopsis

Following 3 years of unrelenting search, Tian Wenjun (Huang Bo) and ex-wife Lu Xiaojuan (Hao Lei) finally locate their abducted son in a remote village. After the boy was violently taken away from the village, the heartbroken foster mother Li Hongqin (Zhao Wei) goes on a lone journey to get him (and her other child) back.


Zhao Wei? Huang Bo ? Hao Lei?Tong Dawei

Directed by

Peter Chan


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *