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#TIFF19 Review: Wet Season (Platform)

September 16, 2019

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

Ling (Yeo Yann Yann) is a Mandarin teacher at a high school in Singapore, whose home life is increasingly depressing. She has been trying unsuccessfully for years to conceive a child, and is tasked with looking after her father-in-law (Yang Shi Bin), who is in the advanced stages of dementia, while her husband (Christopher Lee) spends most of his time away at work.

In her loneliness, Ling strikes up a tentative friendship with one of her students, Wei Lun (Koh Jia Ler), the only pupil in her class who actually seems to care about her lessons. Ling starts driving him home from school, and a bond forms between them. She tries to maintain some boundaries and treats him more maternally than romantically, but Wei Lun clearly harbours an inappropriate crush on her that borders on being creepy.

Sensitively directed by Anthony Chen, crafting his second film following his debut feature Ilo Ilo which won the Camera d’Or at Cannes in 2013, Wet Season is a quiet, often interesting character study that both does and doesn’t go where we think it will. Yeo Yann Yann carries the film with her completely natural performance, and Koh Jia Ler is also good as a teenager who blurs lines and pushes things too far, but also remains a naive and confused high school kid. The film is further heightened by the lovely work of cinematographer Sam Care, whose camera always observes and never intrudes on the story.

Koh Jia Ler and Yeo Yann Yann in Wet Season

Public Screenings:

Sunday, September 8th – 5:30 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

Monday, September 9th – 8:45 PM at Scotiabank Theatre

Friday, September 13th – 3:00 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

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