Dear Child is a mini-series based on Roman Hausman’s novel of the same title that follows a woman who lived in isolation with two children and how she came to be there. The series is streaming on Netflix.
A woman is taken to the hospital after a hit-and-run accident a long with a child who behaves quite strangely. Further investigation into circumstances surrounding the accident connects the woman to a missing persons case from 13 years ago.
The woman was kept in captivity for a long time with two children as she was forced to assume the identity of Lena Beck, the mother of the two children who were originally kidnapped.
The authorities try to figure out who the kidnapper is, as well as Lena’s location, all while the woman and the children believe that the kidnapper will be back to take them to their new house and make things how they were.
Kim Riedle is absolutely captivating as Lena, a woman who has gone through so much trauma in such a short span of time and has trouble getting out of it. Riedle’s performance is haunting and that is a credit to the effort she puts in.
Haley Louise Jones and Hans Löw play two different types of officers, as Löw is the wisened investigator living with the weight of the past, while Jones is the younger, determined one who is heading down that path.
Naila Schuberth is similarly brilliant for someone of such a young age. Her portrayal is terrifying and convincing as a child who doesn’t know any other way to live than by the rules of the man she believes is her father.
The mystery of Papa’s true identity is kept until the final episode and that lends an air of suspense to the thriller. It is such a great narrative decision that makes the character even more terrifying.
The portrayal of trauma that Lena has gone through and how it is ingrained in her mind is harrowing. It explains so much about people who have gone through experiences like that.
The same goes for the children, who are worryingly obedient towards an authority figure who is actually controlling them. They have no comprehension of their lack of autonomy which is what makes it more disturbing.
The background score is perfect for such a series, with some exceptional work put into the sounds that set the tone of each moment.
Some subplots could have been ignored since they weren’t given enough attention in the first place. The fact that Gerd had an affair with Karin does affect the dynamic between him and Matthias, but only when analyzed with a more observant eye.
Even Aida’s character and her interaction with the officer who stepped on a mine doesn’t have enough bearing on the narrative and feels like a plot that was left midway through.
Dear Child (2023) is an amazing mini-series with a gripping narrative that keeps the intrigue building right until the final moments. There are some magnificent performances and even the technical aspects of the series are worth mentioning for their contribution to the overall experience.
Director: Julian Pörksen, Isabel Kleefeld
Date Created: 2023-09-07 12:30