Crazy Rich Asians is a 2018 romantic comedy-drama movie directed by Jon M Chu. Based on a novel bearing the same name, it pivots on the story of a young Asian-American woman in Rachel (Constance Wu) during her time in Singapore where she had gone to meet and get acquainted with her boyfriend’s family.
I’m a big fan of the ‘Fresh off the Boat” T.V series and one of the reasons why I am is because of Constance Wu. Alongside Randall Park who plays her onscreen husband, she has a stern comedic presence in the latter and that’s why I was pretty stoked to see what I was going to get with her character in this particular movie. Having seen it, I’d say part of me is disappointed that I did not get what I hoped to see but another part of me is contented by her arc in the film. It’s an emotional arc that I was really drawn to and there was a lot of relatability to it.
I don’t know much about Henry Golding as an actor and understandably so because he is not a mainstream performer. That said, he portrayed the character of Nick Young quite well. He plays soft-spoken rich guy and boyfriend to Rachel who can be relatively secretive and over the course of the movie’s runtime, I go to see why and I felt for him.
Awkwafina, much like Henry isn’t well known in the business but her performance on here is exceptional. She plays Go Peik Lin, a close friend to Rachel. From the first scene I saw her, I knew she’d be the character who’d bear the movie’s comic relief on her shoulders and for the most part she doesn’t disappoint. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that her comedy is Melissa McCarthy worthy nonetheless, there are particular instances where it was undeniably close to it.
We also have Michelle Yeoh in the cinematic fray as Nick’s mother Eleanor Sung-Young. When you take this film’s plot into consideration, you can predict that Michelle’s character would have a strong presence and indeed she does. Eleanor is a constant thorn in Rachel’s side for a huge portion of the flick but in her eyes, she is just a misjudged crusader for her son’s welfare. Even though I did not agree with her demeanour and intentions, I understood why she was who she was.
The Plot, Merits and Demerits.
It’s safe to say that this movie’s plot is extensively cliché. A plot whereby you have a couple or newly-weds to-be and one of them, in this case the lady, has to face off with her companion’s parents during their first get-together. More often, these kinds of events aren’t smooth sailing even in the real world and I’m sure some you reading this know exactly what I mean.
That said, this film does a good job of cloaking that cliché factor with the compelling and heartfelt story they went for. The story of a young Rachel who is trying as much as she can to fit into her new but somewhat harsh environment that sees her face a lot of prejudice from her boyfriend’s family. At select points in the flick, you get to see her humanity and emotionality fleshed out amidst all the drama and tension that ensues and I was riveted by that as an audience member.
I was genuinely surprised when I found out that only $30 Million went into making this film simply because it sure doesn’t feel like it. The production design is commendable; there are so many vibrant and breath-taking locations featured here which were visually appealing. The cinematography is great as well; I substantially looked forward to the beginning of an important scene because the master shots are just amazingly done. The pacing of movie’s events is acceptable; I did not feel any particular rush in the way one aspect of the plot lead to another. I loved the music as well; Brian Tyler is a respected Hollywood composer and in this flick, he showed exactly why especially in the latter stages.
Notwithstanding, I also noticed some flaws. In as much as the pacing is satisfactory as I just mentioned, there are moments where the plot drags a lot and this is contributed by unnecessary rich society dialogue that I wasn’t getting the hang of. I was also let down by how few and far between the laughable comedy was; the standards were not where they were supposed to be. Finally, there is an element of racism here; it’s not widely explored, thank goodness, but it’s there all the same and I observed it.
I was essentially late to watching Crazy Rich Asians but better late than never, right? Over the past few days, I had read quite a number of short reviews that exalted this motion-picture and thus I came into it with a positive mindset. It’s a good movie I must say but it could have been a much better one, for sure.