REVIEW: “Crazy Rich Asians”


Photo Credit: East West Bank, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Jonathan Montague, Staff Writer

There are some calling 2018 the year of diversity for film. Not only did we have a film with a mostly African-American cast directed by an African-American become one of the most profitable movies of all time, we now have another highly successful movie, now with a majority Asian cast. The aptly-titled “Crazy Rich Asians” is an incredibly funny romp with a lot of heart and a very strong sense of identity.

The movie opens on Rachel Chu and her boyfriend Nick, who asks her to accompany him to his best friend’s wedding in his home country of Singapore. Upon arrival, she discovers that her boyfriend is actually Nick Young, the crown prince of one of the wealthiest families in the world, and the culture clash really starts to set in. Not backing down, Rachel resolves to not to be intimidated, especially by his abrasive mother.

The fact that this movie is was made by an Asian cast and crew from beginning to end is what makes this film so good in my opinion. This film does not feel like Hollywood taking advantage of a culture, which is a very hard line to straddle. They make it as respectful as possible to the culture because it is their culture and customs on display.

The story would be very cut and dry if not for the immense amount of personality injected into every element of the film. Who these characters are and the decisions they make are heavily influenced by their backgrounds, from Rachel’s more American ideals to Eleanor’s more traditional views. They want to like each other but their conflicts lie in them both wanting to do what they think is best for the things and people they love. Although there is an antagonist, no one is the villain cackling evilly in the corner. Other characters, such as Nick’s cousin Astrid, are also not left out of the character development, either.

Another great aspect of the film is the comedy. The characters bounce off of each other so well and inhabit their environment so well that you laugh along with them. Even the more eccentric characters, like Peik Lin and her family, get a ton of good moments.

The acting in this movie is also very solid, with everyone giving a standout performance. Constance Wu and Henry Golding have such amazing chemistry and Michelle Yeoh gives this movie even more dignity than it already earned. They provide a grounded lens to view this insane world of wealth through.

If you can count on Jon M. Chu for anything, it’s a sense of style and this movie has it. Not only is every scene wonderfully shot to show off Singapore in all its glory, but the costumes and aesthetics are eye-catching and a joy to behold. The music by composer Brian Tyler enhances every scene with poignant emotion without feeling manipulative.

“Crazy Rich Asians” is the standard rom-com boosted to excellence by its outstanding performances, prominent identity and a mix of heart with hilarity. If you go to see this in theaters, I promise you won’t regret it!