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The Most Mysterious Disappearance

Review of Netflix Limited Series “Dear Child”

Photo by Yousef Espanioly on Unsplash

Netflix’s new limited series “Dear Child” was released on Sept. 7, 2023, receiving outstanding reviews from movie critics including IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.

 The six episode series documents the kidnapping and escape of a young woman and two children over the course of a 13 year period in Germany. There are cliffhangers and surprises throughout every near hour long episode leaving viewers on their toes, most of the time at least. Without a doubt, the three most important factors that went into the production of this series are the execution of the plot, the amazing acting from the cast and the way each character developed over the course of the season. Prestigious critics have been raving about the series, and although some aspects of the series didn't quite live up to expectations, others were incredible.  

When a young woman is taken to the hospital after being brutally struck by a car, police and detectives start asking more and more questions to uncover the truth behind her story. From the beginning, a solid understanding of the plot requires constant attention and focus on detail. There are many small details tossed into the series that throw viewers off if they are overlooked. As the series progresses, more characters and pieces of the story are introduced, but neither in a chronological way nor in a way that's easily understandable. It is difficult to discuss or review the series in any way without uncovering any key details because every single episode has a turn that viewers would never expect and is left on an immense cliffhanger. Though the plot did lack in these areas, it is definitely a good watch for viewers into more spine-chilling realistic fiction movies. The plot is similar to the 2015 film “Room” with Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, keeping viewers engrossed in the film during the intense scenes. Altogether, the plot of the series was incredibly interesting, but could have been filmed and written a bit better to avoid confusion for viewers. 

Aside from the confusing plot, the acting of the cast was outstanding. The series, originally filmed in German, has been filmed with actors speaking English. Instead of the cast's mouths and voices matching up, the film uses the original clips where the actors are seen speaking in German but heard speaking in English, which is the only slightly puzzling aspect of the acting. The series stars Kim Riedle, Naila Schuberth and Christian Beermann as the main cast. Kim Riedle plays the young woman who has been kidnapped, Naila Schuberth plays the young girl who is thought to be her daughter and Christian Beermann plays the kidnapper. The acting of the cast was excellent, especially during high intensity scenes. There are many moments where Riedle is having extreme emotional episodes due to the trauma she has experienced throughout the series, and during every one of these moments, her acting is on point. At no point in the show will viewers find themselves questioning or cringing at the mediocre acting of the cast. 

Lastly, one of the most interesting aspects to see take place, right in front of you on the screen is the development of each character. For example, at the beginning of the series Schuberth, who plays the young girl named Hannah, seems to be very shy, and really only speaks when she is reciting a fact she has memorized from years of schooling. As the series progresses, she becomes more comfortable in different environments and viewers begin to see more of her personality. Mostly each character experiences something like this, including Riedle and different detectives who learn how to be sneakier and better their skills when they are solving the case. This was by far one of the most interesting parts of the acting to watch in the series “Dear Child.” The character development gives the show a more complex feel since the cast’s acting and attitudes do not remain the same throughout the entirety of the film. 

Overall, the series was almost a perfect watch. While it did lack clarity in the plot, the incredible acting made up for this by wowing viewers. “Dear Child” is a must watch for any murder, mystery fans or watchers seeking out a short series that leaves them thinking.

<Star Rating>

Plot: ★★★★★

Acting: ★★★★★

Character Development: ★★★★★

Overall: ★★★★


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