Crazy Rich Asians The one thing crazier than love is family.
We were one of the first to watch the Crazy Rich Asians last night at the VIP Preview held at Powerplant Mall in Makati and this is what Earth (me) , an Asian woman and Marcus, American man think of it. Both of us did not read the book at all so our perspective is not tainted with what the book said.
What Earth thinks of it? Her POV
I am one of those few who have not read the book, please don’t persecute me. I also believe a movie review and a book review is entirely different. There are things in the book that are unnecessary or impossible to do in a movie and vice versa , cinematography purposes and literary purposes served different audience.
Crazy Rich Asian movie is over-the-top Asian fantasy love story kinda like 50 Shades of Gray type except Rachel and Nick are Asians. Plus the kind of torture or romance is more about racism and involves not just the couple but an entire community or clan. The White banana reference, yellow in the outside white on the inside. The movie was very much racist and yet it is so Asian. People watching the movie with udwere laughing so hard, at some funny scenes, why? Because most of us can relate to it because we are Asians, the struggle is real. In fact I believe we Asians are as much as racist as any other countries we just call it a different banana.
You know we call it for the love of the family coz we are so closed knit family ties. We all heard stories about how Chinese family are so strict with keeping their wealth with their own kind/people. We all heard about how Chinese tradition on their weddings and who their son will marry. It takes an entire clan to decide about the love life of a man in their family.
The production was a dream! The elaborate parties and get together, the flamboyant houses , clothes and thingamajigs. It makes you wish you were in this movie even as an extra! It also makes me want to visit Singapore the more again.
But since I haven’t read the book I can’t say if the story is close to the book that went bestseller.
The one thing laudable in this movie aside from the generous production is that it is billed as the first Hollywood movie in over 25 years staring an all Asian cast. The cast is not a weak cast at all Michelle Yeoh just to name one. And yeah, Kris Aquino was there.
What Marcus thinks of it? His POV
Although the title clearly mentions Asians, it could be argued that this movie is about being American, since the main character was raised in America. I guess that would be like saying Harry Potter is about the Muggles, since Harry was raised with them. This movie is about Asians, but it uses the typical East vs West fight with the “America way” to show how Asians think. I don’t know if the film succeeds in this, as I am not Asian, but I can say, except for the reverence given to the grandmother character, everyone seemed pretty Westernized to me.
I wasn’t looking forward to seeing the typical romance story of boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl again. I was hoping for a big shake up of that idea. I guess I can’t tell you if that’s what happens or not, but I will say, it is a romance story and certain things need to be there…and they are. There are googly eyes and terrible misunderstandings and tearful break ups and make ups. Blah Blah Blah.
There were two sub-plots that I’m sure were wonderful storylines in the books, but in a 2-hour movie, they just were not fleshed out very well and fell terribly flat. One with an ex-lover and one with a sister. The main storyline is pretty predictable. The characters are likable enough and you do want them to work everything out, but I was hoping for a bigger wow moment. I wanted to see the female lead be more clever. There were a few brief moments of “oh no she didn’t” and then kind of nothing.
The only thing that really made this watchable was the comedy. It is pretty funny. One family, in particular, stole the show. They were over the top characters, but made me laugh. Oh, and some of the decadence the rich people engaged in was kind of fun too. This could not have been a cheap movie to make. It was shot extremely well and there isn’t a bad thing to say about the production value.
Again, I am sure if I was tapped more into Asia, I would have appreciated some of the subtler Asian culture references and actor cameos, but as is, I wouldn’t go out of my way to see this movie. But if she’s going to drag you to a movie, you could do worse.
Directed by Jon M. Chu, “Crazy Rich Asians” features an international cast of stars, led by Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, and Awkwafina, with Ken Jeong and Michelle Yeoh. The large starring ensemble also includes Sonoya Mizuno, Chris Pang, Jimmy O. Yang, Ronny Chieng, Remi Hii, and Nico Santos.
Color Force’s Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson, and Ivanhoe Pictures’ John Penotti produced the film, with Tim Coddington, Kevin Kwan, Robert Friedland, and Sidney Kimmel serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim, based on the novel by Kevin Kwan.
The creative filmmaking team included director of photography Vanja Černjul, production designer Nelson Coates, costume designer Mary Vogt and editor Myron Kerstein. The music was composed by Brian Tyler.
Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with SK Global and Starlight Culture, a Color Force/Ivanhoe Pictures/Electric Somewhere Production, a Jon M. Chu Film, “Crazy Rich Asians.” It will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.
CRAZY RICH ASIANS opens this Weds Aug 22 in Philippine cinemas. Rated PG 13 by MTRCB.