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Film / Wet Season

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Wet Season is a 2019 Singaporean film directed by Antony Chen, the first one since his 2013 debut title Ilo Ilo. The story follows Ling (Yeo Yann Yann), a Malaysian-born Chinese language teacher at a boys' secondary school. Treated with ridicule at her workplace and struggling with an invasive IVF treatment, with which she's trying to save her marriage with her local husband Anthony (Christopher Lee — no, not that one), she finds solace in looking after her elderly father-in-law (Yang Shi Bin).

With the dreaded O-Levels approaching, Ling begins teaching remedial classes to her struggling students. Among them is Kok Wei Lun (Koh Jia Ler), a wushu athlete whose parents are perpetually away on business trips. She starts to bond with him as she drives him home through the wet season, unaware of his slowly growing feelings for her…

The film was released on 28 November 2019.

Wet Season provides examples of:

  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Subverted with Wei Lun. He's a fairly shy student at the start; however, as he grows closer to Ling, he starts to put on the moves to impress her, eventually inviting her to his wushu competition.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: The characters regularly switch between Mandarin and English, as is the norm among Chinese Singaporeans. Language is used as a class/cultural marker between Ling and her wealthier, Anglophone colleagues.
    • When talking to her Malaysian family members, Ling mainly uses Hokkien with some Mandarin thrown in.
  • Dumb Jock: Wei Lun isn't great with his classes, and far too immature to understand what he's getting into.
  • Fun with Subtitles: One of the remedial students, Peter Chan, doesn't know how to write his name in Chinese. The movie's Chinese subtitles play along by only showing his name in English.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: The whole movie. It's right there in the title.
  • Head-in-the-Sand Management: Invoked. The school's principal is due for a Ministry of Education promotion in a few months. When Wei Lun is caught with a phone full of Ling's photos, he simply deletes them and tells Ling to take a break until the whole thing blows over.
  • It Always Rains at Funerals: Subverted with the father-in-law's death and funeral: his death is marked by a powerful rainstorm, but his wake is a pretty dry affair.
  • Parental Abandonment: Wei Lun's parents are always away on business trips.
  • The Stoic: Ling deals with her emotional exhaustion by barely emoting throughout the movie.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: The movie's entire premise.