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Wet Season

暴雨浸泡导演Anthony Chen’s “Wet Season” with a melancholic yearning for warmth. As water pours outside, the interpersonal storms of two solitary people also rage on. Though it's a facile metaphor, its desired effect mostly pays off.

For his new subdued drama, the Singaporean director reteams with Malaysian actressYann Yann Yeoand local young starKoh Jia Ler. Chen’s 2013 debut “Ilo Ilo,” featured Yeo as a pregnant mother so overwhelmed with work that a Filipino housekeeper becomes the primary caretaker of her 10-year-old son (Jia Ler). Similar themes around substitute motherhood and the precocious minds of young males resurface in this follow-up but with added maturity.

This time the main victim of affective neglect is absentminded teacher Ling (Yeo). Trying for a child through IVF, she juggles her thankless profession and her crumbling marriage. Her husband, barely present, has outsourced all of his familial obligations to her, from taking care of his ill, non-verbal father, to attending functions with his relatives on his behalf.

News broadcasts also make her aware of the political turmoil in her native Malaysia. With Singapore being a country comprised of people from diverse backgrounds, including plenty of immigrants, the idea of being from another land prevails in Chen’s work. It is, however, more conspicuous in “Ilo Ilo.”

And so, in that fragile state with no support system, gentle attention from her teenage student Wei Lun (Jia Ler) comes as a respite. Tonally, Chen maintains an air of innocence in their not-yet-inappropriate relationship, but even if this film doesn’t connote the malice ofHannah Fidell’s “A Teacher,” it also heads toward confusion and broken trust.

The plot quickly reveals itself to revolve around the emotional ineptitude of the men in her immediate circle, who are all either understandably immature or infirm. Cruel circumstances have made it so that she’s always reluctantly mothering someone—her father-in-law or Wei Lun—but negatively distinct from the way she had envisioned it. Wei Lun’s arc reads as thin: a boy inexperienced in love whose parents travel for work.


It’s a fascinating move from Chen to cast Yeo and Jia Ler almost a decade after they were mother and son on screen, now in a quasi-romantic coupling between individuals with deep voids. Yeo runs away with the movie in regards to the grade of difficulty involved in her part, given that her character has much more at stake and crosses many lines in the process of revaluing herself.


Also to the drama’s edification is how cinematographer萨姆护理以陈词滥调的方式抑制进入永久降雨。这并不是说框架不潮湿,但这种丰富的液体存在更加大气,在驾驶时产生的浑浊或模糊的视觉。陈把凌的车变成了她移动的安全岛。从实际的角度来看,它随着季风洗净的实际的角度,这也是她似乎唯一似乎和平或舒适哭泣的唯一一个地方,她和魏伦在那里独自花时间。这种内置细节炫耀陈的写作能力,即使在其他地方也有缺点。

Once the platonic façade drops, “Wet Season” goes head-on into situations that dismantle the subtly and the delicately constructed ambivalence of the performances. If you feel like you know where it’s headed, you are probably correct. But while Chen’s refusal to subvert commonplace elements is disappointing, there’s a sharp note of sorrowful, aching understanding running through the protagonists’ shared ordeal.


Carlos Aguilar

Originally from Mexico City, Carlos Aguilar was chosen as one of 6 young film critics to partake in the first Roger Ebert Fellowship organized by, the Sundance Institute and Indiewire in 2014.


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Wet Season movie poster


103 minutes


Yann Yann Yeoas Ling

Koh Jia Ler作为Kok Wei Lun

Christopher Ming-Shun Leeas Andrew Lim

Yang Shi Binas Ling's Father-in-law

Brayden Kohas Mrs Chew's Son




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