When I arrived at the movie theater to watch the highly anticipated Crazy Rich Asians, I wasn’t sure what was in store for me. I had already watched all the trailers, seen the exclusive photos, and tracked the press junkets– done. I had high hopes, but I also had a terrible fear that it wouldn’t be as good as I hoped or as the director and cast made it out to be. I remember texting back and forth with a friend the weeks leading up to its release booking opening nights tickets and talking about how excited we were. I went into the theater cautious yet confident it’d be good. Coming out of the theater, I was delighted to say that the movie exceeded my expectations.
Crazy Rich Asians is a movie starring an all-Asian cast adapted from Kevin Kwan’s series. Born in Singapore, Kwan got the inspiration to write about the drama and luxury about upper class Asians after being surrounded by them. He described the world as “very rarified” to Refinery29 and that he grew up with “chauffeurs ferrying [him] around.” The expensive culture influenced him to write a trilogy about Rachel Chu, a New York University professor who’s unaware that her boyfriend is from one of the wealthiest families in Singapore until they take a trip for his best friend’s wedding. The story follows her tribulations and trials from the revelation of his secret life, navigating around a world so grand it seems like it’d only exist in a fantasy. At the same time, she is coming to terms with her own insecurity and past from being an Asian-American raised in an opposite environment from her boyfriend.
Directed by Jon M. Chu and starring Constance Wu (Rachel Chu) and Henry Golding (Nick Young), Crazy Rich Asians not only captures and chronicles the book perfectly, but also expands and digs deeper into the other characters seen as well. There is a multitude of characters seen throughout and it’d be difficult to keep track of if they weren’t so developed in their unique roles. I not only found myself rooting for Rachel and Nick as individuals and together, but for the supporting characters as well. I fell in love with the strong, kind, and intelligent character of Nick’s cousin, Astrid Leong-Teo (Gemma Chan) or shedding a tear of the story of Rachel’s mother, Kerry Chu (Tan Kheng Hua). The characters, no matter how big or small of a role they played, were real and helped make Crazy Rich Asians the amazing move it is. Not only do the characters play a stand out role, but the storytelling and cinematic shots do as well. The cast and crew encapsulate what it is like for someone to be a crazy rich Asian and show the glamorous yet ugly lifestyle that comes with it.
The cast and crew encapsulate what it is like for someone to be a crazy rich Asian and show the glamorous yet ugly lifestyle that comes with it.
It’s hard not to feel submerged into the lavish lifestyle and leave the movie feeling a desire to live a life so grand. In the 120 minute time frame, a story of love, loss, glamour, and so much more is told and told well.
Although Crazy Rich Asians is a ‘rom-com’ and may be a genre that’s not interesting for everyone, this movie is so much more than that. It is a story of life. And not just any life, but the life of Crazy Rich Asians.