Wet Season Review: Anthony Chen’s Follow-Up To Ilo Ilo Has A Lot On Its Mind
You’ll never look at 'Ilo Ilo' the same way after this.
Starring Yeo Yann Yann, Koh Jia Ler, Yang Shi Bing, Christopher Lee
Directed By Anthony Chen
Unlike his award-feted debut Ilo Ilo, Anthony Chen’s latest requires a bit more heavy lifting and patience from its viewer.
The incomparable Yeo Yann Yann plays Ling, a Malaysian teaching Chinese language in Singapore, with problems at work and at home. Things get a little complicated when she has an affair with a student (Yeo’s Ilo Ilo son Koh Jia Ler).
The film, like Ling, has a lot on its mind — cultural neglect, geriatric care, Malaysia-Singapore ties — so much so that it gets weighed down by the Big Themes. But the film means well and the performances are engaging.
Yeo and Koh’s previous roles as mother and son make their onscreen tryst uncomfortable to watch, but play into their characters' illicit relationship. One thing’s for sure: You’ll never look at Ilo Ilo the same way after this. (***1/2)
Photo: Giraffe Pictures