An epic melodrama that hits all of the right emotional buttons, Peter Ho-Sun Chan’s Dearest (亲爱的) treads familiar territory as it tackles the traumas of a divorced couple who are reunited in grief when their child is abducted.
Still, the film impresses with its ugly vision of child abduction in contemporary China. It’s alarming to see how Chinese urbanites, broadcasting their pleas for any information about their children on TV and the Internet, get inundated by hundreds of calls from people who all claim they can help as long as they are paid first — with some even passing off other kids as the lost child.
Despite the over two hour length of the film, it’s quite easy to become invested in the narrative also thanks to some great performances by the cast.
Dearest (亲爱的) Movie Synopsis
Shenzhen, Southern China – When their 3-year old son goes missing. TIAN WEN-JUN and his ex-wife, LU XIAO-JUN, find their ordinary lives thrown into complete turmoil. Overwhelmed with guilt, they struggle to cope with the never-ending nightmare that most people would be unable to comprehend. They comb through half the country in search of their child but to no avail. The waiting is the hardest thing to endure but they persevere, clinging to the faintest glimmer of hope – even if it comes in the form of a conman’s lie. Hope is the only thing that gives them a reason to live.
Months pass. One day, the couple sits and watches the autumn leaves fall. Although they are divorced, they realize that once a man and a woman have a child together, they are inextricably linked forever. While on the road, they encounter HAN DE-ZHONG and his wife FAN YUN, another couple who lost their child. Han introduces Tian and Lu to a support group that is dedicated to locating missing children. Tian and Lu are both grateful and saddened to meet others in the same circumstances. The members of the group offer each other assistance and emotional support.
Stills searching years later, Tian and Lu travel up north to a remote village, where they have been tipped to find their long lost son, TIAN PENG. Tian and Lu return home with their son, now 6, but Peng has changed. He sees his biological parents as strangers. The child is traumatized after being taken away from his ‘family’ for a second time. Meanwhile, LI HONG-QIN, Peng’s foster mother from the village arrives in the city in search of her last surviving relative, exposing long buried secrets…
儿子失踪了，这打破了离异夫妇田文军(黄渤饰) 和鲁晓娟(郝蕾饰) 的普通生活。他们於万般愧疚中度日如年，於常人无可想像的苦痛中苦捱支撑，找遍大半个中国，却始终渺茫无音信。如果说等待是世上最难的事，他们甘心情愿。哪怕是来自骗子的消息，那也意味著一个希望，希望成为他们活下去的理由。春去秋来的某一天，夫妇二人坐看秋风落叶，终於了悟，如果一对男女有了一个小孩，无论他们如何分开，他们都会割捨不开。
Production companies: We Pictures, Alibaba Pictures Group, Stellar Mega Films, J.Q. Pictures, Enlight Pictures Shanghai, Real Thing Media, HB Studio, Pulin Production
Cast: Zhao Wei, Huang Bo, Tong Dawei, Hao Lei, Zhang Yi, Zhang Yi, Zhang Yuqi
Director: Peter Ho-Sun Chan
Screenplay: Zhang Ji
Producers: Jojo Hui Yuet-chun, Peter Ho-Sun Chain
Director of photography: Su Chou
Production designer: Sun Li
Costume designer: Dora Ng
Editor: Derek Hui
Music: Leon Ko
Sales: We Distribution
No rating, 130 minutes