Reclaim is generally a well-made film that gives one pause for thought, even if it does linger on a bit too long.
This review of the Netflix film Reclaim (2022) does not contain spoilers.
Reclaim follows a woman in need of a bigger house that she believes will help her to keep her whole family happy, but in trying to find this solution, she realizes that she hasn’t given any thought to herself or her own happiness for a very long time.
Right from the get-go, it is clear that Reclaim is a really well put-together little film. Its opening titles fade in and out against the interior of a tiny dollhouse and all of its parts being created, and it is fair to say that the film is made with the same care and attention. It just feels like everything has been very carefully considered, and the creative team behind it has included each aspect with very clear intention. Nothing is slapdash.
Reclaim is shot in a way that makes it look almost documentary in style, and in a way it plays back in a similar fashion. You get a real insight into the life of our protagonist — who is never really referred to by her name as such; only ever as the many different roles she plays for different people — and it is like being a fly on the wall during her day-to-day activities.
Its detached cinematic style contributes a lot to how thought-provoking Reclaim is overall, as it results in the woman at the heart of this story having the power to be any one of the women in our own lives and gives rise to consideration on how we view them ourselves. So often, we view these women as who they are to us; as ‘mum’, or ‘wife’, or ‘teacher’, rather than as their own person with their own needs and desires.
Reclaim does have a tendency to get a little too bogged down in pondering the perception of its protagonist by the outside world, and as such as it goes it does start to move a bit too slowly for my own personal taste. The film’s more fantastical elements also go multiple layers deep and become slightly confusing to follow too, but in spite of all this, it is nice to see things culminate in a happy ending where the woman gets what she deserves, which is to be seen for who she is as well as what she is to those around her.
On the whole, despite its habit of lingering on a bit too long, and fixating on metaphors that aren’t all that clear to drive its point home, Reclaim is generally a well-made film that gives one pause for thought. It definitely won’t be for everyone, but if you like a bit of commentary on societal norms, it’s quite a welcoming take on this.
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