A rain dog is a dog whose scent has been washed away by the rain. Without its scent, it is doomed to loneliness because it can’t be recognised or acknowledged. The protagonist Tung is such a rain dog. He is facing a turning point in his life. Between school and university, between city and countryside, and between his mother’s house and that of his uncle and aunt. After completing his schooling, he heads for the huge and confusing Kuala Lumpur. His elder brother keeps himself alive there in a harsh and criminal world, but the long-suffering Tung doesn’t make it that far. He is ripped off by the first pimp he meets and robbed in the hectic bus station. He leaves the city disillusioned. He will return to fetch the body of his brother.
The role of Tung is played with beautiful detachment by the unknown Kuan Choon Wai. With an equally detached camera, Tung is followed on the road to maturity - a road he travels with great reluctance. Tung’s indolence leaves plenty of room to sketch the surroundings, from the hectic, grimy and chaotic Kuala Lumpur to the peaceful but also weary countryside of Malaysia, not far from the border with Thailand. It is a film that slowly but surely allows the viewer a glimpse of hidden emotions. Sluggishly and as a great gift, it surrenders its secret. (GjZ)