Wet Season is an intergenerational love story set during the monsoon season in Singapore. Ling gives Mandarin lessons at a local high school for rich kids. As her private life crumbles around her, she becomes closer to Wei Lun who is one of her students. At first, Ling is eager to help. She soon learns that her student has a crush on her.
Calling the plot a slow burn would be giving it too much credit. It moves at a glacial pace with the set up alone taking the whole first hour. Wet Season definitely requires patience from the audience. However, those who are able to settle in for the long haul will be rewarded with an emotionally powerful, if somewhat heavy handed, journey.
Director Anthony Chen uses every bit of time to build the story. Wet Season is a character driven film in which every action matters. Ling and Wei Lun are delicately brought together by the script. Nothing seems forced and everything exchange is natural. As the relationship evolves, audiences will pick up on subtle clues as to what direction things are going.
The reason watching the couple come together is so engaging is because the characters are so interesting. Ling has to deal with a husband who is never at home. He is cold to his wife and is very selfish. She also constantly cares for her aging father. Despite everything going on her life, she handles it all with dignity and restraint.
On the other hand, Wei Lun is just a child. He is emotional and incapable of handling some of issues life has given him. As Wet Season progresses, more of his character is shown. In these moments, we see the contrasting personalities of the two leads. There is a real “opposites attract” vibe that makes things that much more compelling.
Wet Season deals with the burgeoning relationship between Ling and Wei Lun on a number of different levels. There is the salacious teacher-student romance, but even more interesting is the faux familial one the two have. Wei Lun is the son Ling is incapable of having while Ling are the parents that are never around. It adds another layer that makes things that much more interesting.
Wet Season opens in select theaters April 23 and expands to more theaters, virtual cinemas, premium video, and video on demand nationwide April 30
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