My "Crazy Rich Asian" Film Review

I've got to say, I pretty much enjoyed CRAZY RICH ASIAN, but for the immense hype which surrounded the film (which in my real world actually puts me off most films, sad to say) which frankly does a disservice to this film, and at the same time remains quite an apt cycle of hype for the film, IMHO.


Barring overseas (AKA "non-Singapore") impressions, as a (nearly) middle-aged Singaporean, it was a competent celluloid offering, which provided a somewhat classier view of Singapore and its touristy cliches - to which I remembered reading locals/SG folks going on about "unrealistic geographic" directions and non-realistic makan concerns? To which I can only but kindly retort "Get out of your little well can?" and encourage embracing what "outsiders" think of and impressions of our island nation! No, you do not have to agree with everything (and rightly so, and neither do I on numerous occasions), but still, I'd imagine instead whacking local filmmakers if they twisted Singapore's context for their reel world LOL ... but in this instance? I'd think director Jon Chu did a pretty decent job trying to keep the "authenticity", while trying to move the narrative forward and tell the film's story, which in turn was adapted from Kevin Kwan's book/novel, for which I have not read (and alas do not intend to :p), for me to argue "authenticity" otherwise.


As for the lack of representation of other nationalities, I would heartily agree (Seeing both the armed Sikh guards threw me off quite a bit, actually), but at the same time agree that THIS movie was not meant to be representative of our entire island nation, is/was it? Although I can understand friends and folks going up in arms with the words "Asians" used (in "Crazy Rich Asian"), in lieu of "Crazy Rich Chinese" (which I felt somewhat more "racist" with the labelling, ironically), but hey, it was not something that affected my own personal enjoyment of the film - which I felt was a decent enough entertaining offering, although not as "groundbreaking" as folks have lauded it to be, which I cannot and do not take way from, IMHO.

And neither do I take away or belittle folks' impressions of the film, too. In whatever "divisive" or "controversial" (I couldn't think of a better extreme word :p) state folks have burdened this film to be, it had been a "conversation starter" at the very least, especially now in this day and age, where perhaps a decade ago, folks might not necessarily offer it the time of day, besides enjoying the film for what it is: A Romantic Comedy. So yes, this need not have been an "answer" to the draught of Asian-faces in Hollywood films, but without a doubt a start of something ... which to be absolutely honest, in my own humble opinions, is essentially about $$$ and what needs to be done, who to show on the screen for people to pay $$$ to watch ... and not necessarily what the film needs to wear (or forced to wear) an extra hat of responsibility to champion Asian diversity in Hollywood filmmaking, IMHO.

It is what it is now, I guess, and that's okay.

BUT, it had been, and it was a blast to see the different Asian/Chinese faces and names being showcased, IMHO! Aw my heart melted seeing Gemma Chen shedding a tear tho ... Alamak, Pierre! DUUUUDE! :p


My Fave Bits:

- When Henry Golding's "Nick Golding" spoke a little Malay (the only Malay context in the film) when ordering satay - I was actually damn well touched, leh! Not just that Henry was Malaysian born, and that he had a chance to rep a part of his heritage, but also it reminded me of my own measly "command" (I use that term exceedingly mildly) of the Malay language too LOL

- Awkwafina was utter rock-n-roll, as far as I am concerned. Huge fan after this (Not after "Ocean's 8", fhanks).

- The judicious smattering of Singlish sprinkled all over the film, from Koh Cheng Mun's "aircon" (Yes I noticed that! HAHAHAHAHA), to thank-effin-goodness the restraint usage of "lah", kept everything on status quo, without the typical "non-singaporean-looking-in" cringe, is very much appreciated. The incorporation of Singlish into the opening telecomm-montage was an inspired touch to retain "connection" to the use of Singlish, IMHO.

Seriously tho, if Constance Wu's "Rachel" had uttered a single "lah" in this film, I would have flipped a table.

- Besides the design and authenticity of the environments (forgive me as I'd nearly a decade's worth of being in the local media industry unable to ignore even if I desperately have been for a decade since :p), it had been an uber-admirable job done on the production design, and cannot give it enough due to have to maintain relevancy to locality, but as well provide a well-designed film.

And while I do not have the benefit of know how "the other side lives", the production quality is an inspiration, and the color coordination and choice is highly commendable!

Folks also must realise, this is not "our" typical "heartland"-film where people and environments dictate what people wear (save for the faux uncles trying to unload the fruit truck in slow mo at the end mahjong scene :p), with the focus thus far on the principles of the film, so kudos for a very controlled showcase, IMHO.


My Not-Too-Fave Bits:

- Recognizing most of our local actors/actresses but in roles that portrayed their characters in not-so-positive a light (AKA "I want to slap their CB faces"), somewhat irked me quite a bit more than I had expected, going into this film. From Astrid's self-absorbed husband, to the free-range slut, to the gaggle of kaypoh entitled aunties, I'd felt instead less of a "racial" bias, versus a line-up of "token-locals" represented in unsavoury-roles, IMHO... BUT I am not an actor in any context, and will not and cannot judge, beyond my own personal arm-chair kaypoh-ness myself :p


Verdict:
Will I buy a DVD movie to keep? ANS; No.

Is this movie worth watching on the big screen? ANS; It is a great entertaining piece that can be enjoyed on the small screen as well, and I'll leave it at that.

Will I watch this film a second time? ANS; No, I don't need to.

Is this a recommendable movie to watch? ANS; Yes, to anyone of any race to watch, because (most) us Singaporeans LOVE to watch scenes of our country, regardless good or bad (I think?), AND be able to talk about it afterwards ~ LOL.

Thank You for Reading, and Enjoy The Movies!
Andy

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