Review: Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Crazy Rich Asians exceeded my expectations. I'm always happy to see more Asian representation in the media, but I want to see a movie because it's good, not because people tell me to fulfill an "obligation" as an Asian-American.
With that being said, I really enjoyed the movie. In the beginning it did feel like they were throwing in many jokes and trying too hard to be funny, but soon enough I was engaged in the story. It was relatable on many levels, and I teared up during a couple scenes, which I hardly ever do. Some spoilers ahead!
In Jon M. Chu's Crazy Rich Asians, Rachel Chu (played by Constance Wu) goes with her boyfriend Nick Young (played by Henry Golding) to meet his family in Singapore. She discovers that Nick's family is actually crazy rich, and she tries to navigate the new and unwelcoming environment.
The characters were likable and felt real. I wouldn't say the cinematography was stunning, but it was quite nice and the shots had good depth. The production design was great too. Most of the dialogue was natural and there were some hilarious lines throughout.
I really cared about Astrid, played by Gemma Chan. Her story was important, yet balanced well so that it didn't overshadow Rachel's. She was graceful and I liked the scene where she was vulnerable in front of Rachel after initially bottling up her feelings.
Eleanor, the mother, was played by Michelle Yeoh. She truly commanded the screen in the scenes she was in, and viewers will not easily forget her.
I liked the grandma's character too. I loved when she analyzed Rachel's nose and said that she had a good face. It was so accurate to Asian culture, and it's a sight I've seen in person many times.
The scene where she blamed her daughter near the end was fantastic because of the tension and accuracy, though I'm a bit disappointed she didn't appear at the very end of the film to wrap things up. It seems that there will be two more films in the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy though, so hopefully her story continues there.
Nick and Rachel, especially the latter, were strong main characters. However, I would have liked more depth to Nick's character. Rachel was lovable especially as the story went on, and her interactions with Peik Lin (played by Awkwafina) were both funny and uplifting. I feel like the humor was overdone in a few moments, but for the most part, it was fitting and you grow to love the two more and more.
There were some scenes that showed the sexy side of Asians, yet that didn't distract from the film. Much of the media in the past hadn't shown the attractive aspects of Asian people. I'm happy that this film could balance that with the story well. It didn't feel like fanservice in some anime where they can go overboard and pander to their audience.
I mentioned relatability a couple times before, and it's definitely part of why I liked this film. Even beyond just Asian culture, there were aspects of Rachel's and Astrid's lives that I currently relate to and their emotions felt so real.
Overall, I would rate this movie 7.5/10!
Have you seen Crazy Rich Asians? I'd love to know your thoughts on the film!