Finally, after weeks of talking about it, waiting for it and making guesses about how it's going to unfold on the big screen, Crazy Rich Asians hit the theatres across the region. Needless to say, both Western and Asian viewers found the movie fun and compelling, apart from the fact that it's definitely a game-changer as a full-Asian cast Hollywood film that is neither a historical nor 'stereotypical' feature.
But what is it about this movie that we just find so relatable besides its cultural relevance? These Asians give their not-so-crazy reasons as to why they loved the film and which character they relate to the most.
Becks Ko, Editor
"I am not crazy rich, obviously. Nor am I that 'It' girl. But the character that I relate to the most is Astrid Teo (played by British actress Gemma Chan), the crazy rich socialite who faces a rocky marriage with her husband Michael (played by Singaporean actor Pierre Png) in the film. Rather than saying that I relate to her predicament, I feel strongly towards her pain and most importantly, the immense strength and poise she exudes despite her pain. She is a living epitome of Elizabeth Taylor’s words “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together.” Except Astrid would probably put on a gorgeous pair of statement earrings instead — which is totally what I’d do!
I am already looking forward to the Crazy Rich Asians sequel that will put a spotlight on the relationship between Astrid and — new heartthrob alert! — Charlie Wu (played by Shadowhunters and Glee star, Harry Shum Jr.)!"
Jenifer Loh, Campaigns Executive
"The characters I relate to the most are Eleanor Young and Kerry Chu. Actually, all the mothers (and grandmothers) in the movie!
[In the movie], it was shown how Eleanor Young ordered herbal soup to cure Nick's tiredness, while Kerry Chu offered Rachel ginseng tea to fix her heartbreak — a very Asian way of expressing love and care through food. They've shown how food means family, and that traditional dishes are a way for modern families to stay connected with their heritage. It's often said that Asian families lack conventional affection, but the truth is we know how to love fiercely, and we do it through unwavering loyalty and a lot of good food.
Music is an emotional part of a movie experience and Crazy Rich Asians' soundtrack is a glorious combination of Chinese and English songs, which is another layer of storytelling altogether. Getting popular English songs covered in Chinese lyrics is a great way to show the blurry lines of today's cultural boundaries and identities that make up who we are."
"I cried and laughed so many times watching this movie! My favourite character is Astrid because I think a lot of girls really aspire to have Astrid's lifestyle (except the problem with her husband) but I find Nick [Young]’s character more relatable. It's in the sense that my family is Chinese and it has always been customary that the children will take over the family business. I studied college away from home and actually wanted to work elsewhere after graduation but ended up going back home to help out in our family business. I guess, parents do really know best, and I have not regretted coming home and working at my dad's company."
"I can relate to Peik Lin the most. I’m always the listening ear and always around to help friends in distress and also the one who offers fashion advice to doll up my friends who don’t really know what to wear for certain occasions. I'm never really the main star of any event but always end up being the person next to the star, like Piek Lin. And to be honest, I’m really comfortable to be in that role. Perhaps because I’m more of an introvert and prefer others to discover the real me instead of being the centre of attention.
Overall, I love the entire setting of the movie. It’s almost like the Asian version of Gatsby. You gotta watch the movie to know why the wedding scene is so touching!"
"'Hollywood is now ready for buff guys.'” I read that somewhere on the interwebs and found it to be so true after watching the movie. I think it is pivotal for not only for Singapore but Asians all around the world. The movie’s descriptive representation of Singapore’s tourism and food culture was even more vivid than what I got from reading the book. Although slightly veered towards an idealist’s impression of the city, the movie moved me — especially when Rachel Chu (played by actress Constance Wu) was dealing her hand in the Mahjong Room (no spoilers!).
On a personal level, I didn’t quite relate to any of the characters; probably because of their crazy-rich lifestyle. But I would love to take a walk in Astrid’s Valentinos, just so I can experience her intense shopping spree in Shanghai."