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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
"When people are selfless, all of their potential is realized."
Positive Role Models
The mom takes on the family's burdens while no one appreciates her.
The movie is set in Taiwan with a Taiwanese cast.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Reclaim is a 2022 Taiwanese drama (in Mandarin with English subtitles) that focuses on the giving wife and mother of two grown children. Her family belittles and ignores her, except when they allow her to serve them. She cheerfully helps them all, getting little in return but attitude. The subjects here are the cycle of life, family interactions, and financial concerns, making this a film of little potential interest to anyone but older teens and adults. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Reclaim is a ponderous collection of wonderful ideas that are strung together in an indecipherable way. Is it a family drama? Is it a story of loss? Is it about a financial scam? Is it about the cycle of life -- youth, aspiration, adulthood, raising kids, caring for parents, then being cared for by children? Yes to all of that, but also no because no single idea is developed or followed through to climax and satisfactory end. Add to all that a powerful, intelligent, and understated performance by Nina Paw as Lan-hsien, the wonderful teacher, dutiful but ignored mother, frustrated artist, unappreciated wife, doormat, and cheerleader, and the result is still disappointing.
Much of the mother's treatment seems culturally based and therefore a norm, but for non-Taiwanese audiences, the mother's selflessness, which might be a plus if her husband and children rewarded it with respect and gratitude, can read as sad and abusive. At seemingly dramatic moments, happy music plays. Is Lan-hsien the victim of a scam? That question inhabits a big chunk of the movie, yet the issue is dropped, the tension fades away, and we never learn if she lost her money. Suddenly the husband is nice to her. Why? Suddenly she refuses to take her selfish son's phone call. Why? Suddenly she doesn't drop everything to help her daughter and instead suggests the daughter do something for herself. Why? If the character has in fact learned something, we aren't told how or when that process occurred. It's unfortunate, because bits and pieces of the film work but, as a whole, it just doesn't.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.