For a film to be groundbreaking it has to not only be unapologetic for what it stands for but to also be built upon a foundation of being a solid entertaining movie. ‘Crazy Rich Asian’s’ is both a great showcase for representation for an underserved audience with it being the first cast of majority Asian descent in a Hollywood film in 25 years since ‘The Joy Luck Club’. Originally this film was pitched and Netflix wanted to do all 3 books, of which the films are based on, as a Go-Picture deal but John Chu wanted the film to be on the big screen to show stories of different cultures can be profitable. This ended up being a win for Warner Bros in the end with it being a smash success.
The film itself is pretty by the numbers, and there is nothing wrong with taking it safe and having a basic plot for general audiences to follow. You have to take baby steps in order to condition audiences into being use to seeing more diverse backgrounds in proper vehicles like this platform of a Romantic Comedy works well to start off a hopeful future of more films with Asian talent both in front and behind the camera.
The film stars Constance Wu and Henry Golding as the two leads. I thought they had some chemistry on screen, the worked well together but I didn’t feel as invested in them as I did other characters. Gemma Chan’s character Astrid had a lot more story points which I know are developed in the other books. I am looking forward to seeing more of her character and her complicated relationship with her husband and potential love interest. Awkwafina’s character of Peik Lin was a great comedic relief. She popped on screen and had great chemistry with Constance Wu. Henry Golding had some great scenes with Michelle Yeoh who plays his mother in the film.
I can’t believe this airport has a butterfly garden and a movie theatre. JFK is just salmonella and despair.
As someone who grew up and lives in America, it was great to see another part of the world and showcase Singapore to western audiences to have that culture exposed to so many new faces. I would hope that pushes forward a better narrative for areas in the East that aren’t so familiar in the West to be depicted accurately and not as stereotypes. I did appreciate seeing the culture shown on screen with the traditions, customs and the luxury that was shown in the film. They put a lot of effort into making that wedding basically picturesque for people to try to recreate that for themselves going forward.
Some of my negatives of the film mainly revolved around the energy and comedy. I felt that the film needed a few more beats of energy to bring some freshness to the plot. I want the film to have fun with itself, not just showcase the wonderful cultures of Singapore. Also, there wasn’t as much comedy as I would have liked. There were some great airport jokes and some great one liners from Awkwfina, but it needed more funny to it. I hope that is added to the sequel, not to make it zany but to bring that memorability factor up so that it helps increase the repeatability factors for the remaining two installments. I hope they do make the next two films because they laid a great foundation to work from to make a great sequel.