Monday, September 10, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians

Let me say upfront that I didn’t watch Crazy Rich Asians. 

I’m not crazy over it. Neither am I going to mince my words. The movie is so fake. 

It is a pretentious movie that tries way too hard to tell us about love – through the unschooled eyes of an American commoner (who happens to be an Asian-American) and who has found herself landing unwittingly in the “crazy rich” world of Singapore high society. 

It is a movie desperately seeking acceptance, hence, it showcases “affluence porn” as a graceless and gawky approach for Asian-Americans to supposedly feel good about their ‘Asian-ness’ in an America that is chalky white, culturally, socially, politically and economically. 

It is a fluffy rom-com, sugar-coated with thick Asian cultural nuances that reek of tokenism, and accompanied by a not-so-subtle big band mandopop soundtrack that drowns moviegoers with that eager-to-please quality that is so over-the-top. 

I’m saying all this from an ‘Asian’-Asian perspective. I literally cringed and it came from just watching the trailer, wooden acting and all:

I can agree that the movie was strictly made for the ‘narrow’ Asian-American segment – but that’s it. To say it is ground-breaking is an understatement – after all, so was Black Panther and a couple of other movies that break the stereotyping mould of homogenous Hollywood movies. 

Of course, my other reason is that I’m not into Michelle Yeoh – she is also so fake! 

And the crazy idea of buying out entire theaters and giving tickets away for free with the #GoldOpen movement is akin to buying popularity, buying approval, buying recognition. 

It’s not only crazy but it is silly and even stupid because it sends the wrong signals about the Chinese community. The Chinese doesn’t have to prove anything, get it?! 

Besides, the film is set in the ostentatious and opulent world of Asia’s hyper-wealthy in Singapore – and I must remind you that is only 1% of Singapore! 

Therefore, it cannot be said to represent Singapore nor the true diversity of Southeast Asia or Asia for that matter. It depicts a fairy tale lifestyle that is alien to most Asians. 

Kindly note that just because it is an Asian-American-centric story on the big screen – does not make it Asian! 

BTW, the film was mostly shot in Malaysia, hahaha!!! 

I will not discount that Crazy Rich Asians is likely to appeal to the vieux riche, the nouveau riche and of course, the shallow Asian-Americans who think they are re-discovering their Asian roots via a lame movie such as this. 

You may wish to check out Crazy Rich Asians in 2 minutes: 

Please know I am Asian. And I'm not denying that I am prejudiced about the movie.

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