I Finally Watched Crazy Rich Asians, and I’m Sad I Didn’t See It Earlier

Okay, I admit I am a little late to the game like most things in life. But having adult responsibilities really does take a toll on you. However, I did have a break this past reading week and I managed to finally see the film with my boyfriend (I cried way harder than I should have, it was quite embarrassing really). It was an amazing experience, and I feel like a changed person after watching the movie.

Crazy Rich Asians was released on August 15th, 2018 in Canadian theatres. It is based on the book written by Kevin Kwan and directed by Jon M. Chu. It stars Constance Wu as Rachel Chu and Henry Golding as Nick Young, the protagonists of the film. Nick Young, originally from Singapore has to return to his home country to attend his best friend’s wedding. He invites Rachel to meet his family, but things don’t go as expected. There are also familiar faces such as Nora Lum (aka Awkwafina) as Peik Lin, Ken Jeong as Goh Wye Mun (Peik Lin’s father), Michelle Yeoh as Eleanor Sung-Young (Nick’s mother) and many other Asian actors and actresses. I loved Constance due to the fact that she played Jessica Huang in one of my favourite sitcoms, Fresh Off the Boat.

I’m really glad that the potential of Asian actors/actresses is finally being shown on the big screen in Western media. It is one of the first films in a very long time to feature a full Asian cast. It is also one of the films that do not play into the typical Asian stereotypes. It is a genuine film that depicts real Asian experiences.

While I was watching the film, I really felt like I connected with the characters in some areas, but not so much in others. As a middle-class Chinese-Canadian citizen, I didn’t really understand the extravagancies of the film (such as the nice cars and mansions) because I did not grow up living the high-life. However, I did connect deeply with the family aspect of it. One prominent scene that I connected with is the Dumpling making scene. Watching that scene took me back to the time where I would spend every Saturday morning with my mum making and steaming dumplings to eat for breakfast. It truly was a family bonding activity, and now that I am nearly 600 km away from my family, it makes me miss them like crazy.

There were also extremely hilarious scenes that I connected such as the gossip scene where if one relative knows something, the entire family knows. I really felt that because my mom has a bunch of siblings and relatives that are super nosy. My cousins and I hear crazy rumours about each other and it’s honestly pretty accurate how they represented it in the movie.

The film was heavily criticized for not representing the middle-class, or lower-class citizens that reside in Asia. However, this film only tells one story of the Asian narrative. There are many more cultures that still need to be explored, but this film is the stepping-stone that allows for movies such as those to come to fruition. Although this film didn’t fully represent my story as a Chinese person, it is still a story that exists and needs to be represented. 

The main takeaway from this film is that I realize that my story isn’t the only story that’s out there. There are still many ways that Asians are underrepresented in Western media. I still don’t know much about my fellow Chinese people and I would love to learn more. As time passes, I believe that the number of Asian-centric films will be massive and there is bound to be a film that will speak to me on a super personal level.

If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s still in theatres. Even if you aren’t Chinese or Asian, it will speak to you in one form or another. I highly recommend watching Crazy Rich Asians right now! And if you already watched it, how did you feel about it? 

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