The film has great sets and very good looking actors.
Hollywood has finally got its very own Karan Johar-esque film in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’. The film that has smashed quite a few records and become the top grosser in America in the past two months has the grandeur, aplomb, and scale that the title of the film suggests it to be.
Based on a book by the same name by author Kevin Kwan- who also serves as the co-producer of the film- ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is two hours of visual extravaganza. It shows Singapore in all its glory and doesn’t leave any chance of showing how rich its characters are.
When NYU economics professor Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) agrees to accompany her boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) to Singapore to attend his best friend Colin’s wedding, she happily agrees not knowing the madness she will land up into. Young’s family is crazy rich and considered royalty in Singapore – a fact that Rachel is unaware of till she lands in Singapore. And while Nick is keen to make her meet his mother (Michael Yeoh), Rachel finds herself feeling inadequate in front of the rich guys. It also doesn’t help that while Nick is sure that Rachel is ‘teh one’, his mother outrights tell Rachel, “You will never be enough.”
Mounted on a big scale, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ has all the glamour and aplomb which sets the perfect backdrop but the story is a known one where a free-spirited, confident young woman learns to rise up to the pressure imposed on her by her boyfriend’s family. It's a regular, run-of-the-mill story which does not offer anything that you already can’t predict.
In fact, it is just like a big budget Bollywood film- full of colours and unnecessary drama infused into the narrative. The actors look a million bucks, the sets are grand, then there is a disapproving mother-in-law, an airport chase sequence- basically, a very Indian story.
The humour is few and far in between although overall the film is nice and light. Among the actors, the lead actors Wu, Golding and Yeoh- all play their parts well. Both Wu and Golding bring enormous charm to their characters of Nick and Rachel. Awkwafina plays Rachel’s hilarious best friend and brings in the few laughs that are there in the film.
What is unique is the fact that director Jon M Chu, in a bid to keep the story authentic, has an all Asians star cast which has been received well in America. It’s a first for Hollywood and hopefully not the last one, where diversity and inclusion of other races have been abysmal until now.
It is also somewhat amusing and ironical, that a film that takes jibes at how the American culture is, has worked so well at the American box office. In at least three to four sequences in the film, the importance of family and culture are emphasized and Rachel’s American background scoffed at. Yet, Americans seemed to welcomed the film with arms wide open.
Should you be watching ‘Crazy Rich Asians’? Only if you are in the mood for a good-old romantic comedy with greats sets and very good looking actors. It is not a bad film, but it definitely doesn’t offer you anything new.