Connect with us
Wisdom Tooth Film Review

Film

Wisdom Tooth is an Unusual Coming-of-Age Thriller

Festival du Nouveau Cinema 2020

Class tensions surface with mixed results in Liang Ming’s directorial debut Wisdom Tooth. Straddling the line between crime thriller and relationship drama, everything in Ming’s screenplay clings to the differences in class between its three central characters. Balancing suspense and a complex love triangle, Wisdom Tooth is often an engaging character study that does just enough to pique curiosity, but not enough to maintain interest in all of its aspects.

Primarily centered around the brother-sister relationship of Gu Liang (Wu Xiaoliang) and Gu Xi (Lyu Xingchen) as they struggle to make ends meet in a rural area of Northern China. Liang has turned to help out with odd jobs that are frequently illegal, and Xi is an undocumented worker at a hotel. When Liang starts dating the wealthy Qingchang (Wang Jiajia) their relationship begins to drive a wedge between the brother-sister dynamic, causing Xi to start trying to find her place within their relationship.

Wisdom Tooth

Naturally, Liang eventually finds himself in trouble with the law, which is where the strain between the two siblings grows strongest. It’s also where the film finds most of its tension, often keeping information close to each character’s chest. That added bit of mystery is what Wisdom Tooth often stretches beyond the expiration date. Characters wrestle with personal conundrums that could greatly affect their relationships with other characters, to the point of emotional distress in themselves. Paired with dream sequences that sometimes work but often feel unnecessary, there’s an attempt to carry this film outside of its main narrative which doesn’t really land.

However, Wisdom Tooth does feature really good performances from its cast and the love triangle is interesting enough with how it plays into the central crime thriller plot. It’s when Ming decides to go abstract that the results are less than stellar. Even the film’s class debates are half-baked even though they might be the more fruitful aspects of the relationship between Liang and Qingchang worth exploring. While it does fall short in that regard, Wisdom Tooth is still an interesting film that finds enough meat in its core sibling relationship.

  • Christopher Cross

The (almost entirely) digital 2020 edition of Festival du Nouveau Cinema runs from Oct. 7 to Oct. 31. Visit the official website for more information.

Written By

Chris is a graduate of Communications from Simon Fraser University and resides in Toronto, Ontario. Given a pint, he will talk for days about action films, video games, and the works of John Carpenter.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pop Culture From All Angles

Sordid Cinema Podcast

Trending

150 Greatest Horror Movies of the 20th Century 150 Greatest Horror Movies of the 20th Century

150 Greatest Horror Movies

Film

TIFF 2021: Where is Anne Frank is a Lovely, Creative Re-Imagining

Film

I Purple You: An In-Depth Look at the BTS ARMY and Their Stories- Part One

Blog

Barbara Stanwyck Barbara Stanwyck

The Career of Barbara Stanwyck: The Dame from Brooklyn

Culture

The Cultural Significance of BTS’s Appointment as “Special Presidential Envoys for Future Generations and Culture”

Blog

Midnight Mass Midnight Mass

Midnight Mass Is A Grand, Grotesque Horror Masterpiece

TV

BTS at the United Nations 2021: A Historical Moment Watched by Over A Million

Blog

Coldplay x BTS My Universe Music Video Review: A Surprising Sci-Fi Spectacular

Blog

Coldplay X BTS’s “My Universe” Review: A Collaboration that Brings Together the Best of Both Musical Worlds

Blog

Seinfeld Season 05 Inside Looks 'The Marine Biologist' Seinfeld Season 05 Inside Looks 'The Marine Biologist'

Seinfeld’s Greatest Scene: “The Marine Biologist” Monologue

TV

Q-Force Season 1 Review Q-Force Season 1 Review

Q-Force: They’re Here, They’re Queer, and They’re Going to Save the World

TV

Hulu only murders in the building poster Hulu only murders in the building poster

Why You Should Be Watching Only Murders in the Building

TV

Connect