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As Mandarin-language teacher Ling continues with fruitless IVF treatment while taking care of her ailing father-in-law, she finds herself slowly drawn towards a promising student who seems to have been abandoned by his parents. Outside it's monsoon season, but Ling's inner turmoil looks set to get her into a heap of trouble.
Teenage infatuation takes the front seat in Anthony Chen's second feature film Wet Season which by the time the drama ends gives you a feeling that is equal to what you feel when rains stop and the sun comes up in the sky with all its glory. With a proper blend of nuanced performances by the two lead able actors and subtle filmmaking, the story about a high school teacher and her inquisitive student and Wushu (Chinese Kung Fu) enthusiast moves with a pace that is bound to bring a smile to your face with its straightforward story, dry humour with enough stereotypical jibes between the characters, and unallayed emotional tension. The themes of invisible marital discord, anxiety about childlessness, caring the old, and teacher-student dynamics lines the simple plot with silver as the actors shoulder the entire film to turn it into what it is: an honest look at how such relationship start and how even they can be seen as pure despite the societal dogma. I like how Chen compares the discomfort of a monsoon season (a full-fledged one, I mean; not the joy of the first rains) with the proceedings of the film, which is only heightened by the facial expressions of the remarkably talented Yann Yann Yeo. The high school scenes are a pleasure to watch. I cannot stop gushing even though I wanted it to end at least 20 minutes earlier. TN.
(Watched and reviewed at its India premiere at the 21st MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.)
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