Much like the book it’s based on, the film Crazy Rich Asians has dominated the charts. As the first film with an all-Asian cast since Joy Luck Club, it has sparked a necessary conversation about diversity on the silver screen. The film has also reignited the flame that is romcom films as it is the first (in over three years) to open to over $20 million. Although the statistics suggest the film should be the best romcom of its time, there is a lot of scepticism amongst critics about its actual quality.
For my family, who spent some time in Singapore growing up, certain scenes reminded them of a place that was once home
I, however, am no professional critic. After watching the film at a cinema in Chinatown, I was blown away by the true excitement of the audience. We laughed, we marvelled, we cheered. The two hour and ten minutes seemed to, for the most part, fly by. For many in the cinema, they finally felt they were able to relate to a film that was in English. For my family, who spent some time in Singapore growing up, certain scenes reminded them of a place that was once home. The main reason why the film has done so well is the fact that it has been able to appeal to mass audiences. You have the romance element, the comedy, the unique nature of the film itself. A vast majority of the audience when I watched were male. The statistics surrounding the film itself make you want to watch it, purely to see what all the fuss is about. Between countless news plugs and mentions around the world, you can understand what the hype is about.
Like many other films-turned-books, there is some depth lacking in this cinematic extravaganza
For those of you who have read the book, you might have discovered what I think are some of the film’s pitfalls. Like many other films-turned-books, there is some depth lacking in this cinematic extravaganza. The main characters, Nick and Rachel, seem to have a very narrow plot. Personally, I would have loved to see the expansion of Astrid’s story line (stay until the credits!). Of course, you can never really get an exact copy of a 416-page book into a film. At two hours and ten minutes long, there are some moments you wish had been expanded on. The film has the Hollywood glitz and glamour, so if you are looking for a film with more raw emotion, you might be disappointing.
it has this ability to entertain practically everyone
That being said, the film meets the demand of its title – it gives a glimpse into what could be the lives of wealthy, large Asian families. At the same time, for many, there will be elements that are relatable. The clash between the traditional older members of a family and their offspring, who want to escape a judgmental mind-set. The clash between the nouveau riche and old money (albeit on an extreme scale). The cultural clash between foreign born and locals. Regardless of what you want to take from the film, it has this ability to entertain practically everyone. Whether you relate to the cultural elements, enjoy the cross-continental romance or just want to see how those with money really live, Crazy Rich Asians can do it all.