Crazy Rich Asians, a Movie Review. Sort of

It’s the second movie I watched in the theatre so far this year, the first one being Jurassic Park. No no, third. The second was Sekala dan Niskala (my, I forgot to write a review!). Friends were asking me to go watch The Nun, Searching, and other movies. But I don’t like sad, horror, violent, or thriller movies. I knew nothing about Crazy Rich Asians, haven’t read the book, but a friend said, “Watch it. You’ll laugh hard.” So off I walked to the theatre and sat in the third row. Alone. Because. I. Lost. My. Glasses.

The first scene (Bible reading) instantly reminded me of Arisan., where wealthy ladies gathered, wearing cocktail gowns and bling. I got the sense that CRA ladies “flaunt” their earthly possessions subtly, whereas Arisan ladies clearly shows that they, except one, try to outdo each others’ look, like who is the peacock of us all. Lol.

The movie is about Rachel (yes, the lead character is a girl) whose boyfriend Nick, unknown to her, has endless wealth. He asked her to come to Singapore to attend Nick’s friend’s wedding. And the rest is about rejection and acceptance. And bling. Full of drama. And lol’s. The plot is very much Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Crazy Rich Asians is indeed entertaining (loved the soundtrack too, especially the jazzy tunes sung by Jasmine Chen). Some scenes are so relatable, like when people checked Rachel’s background. And how people got friendlier (or otherwise) to Rachel upon learning who she is dating. Here (and probably elsewhere) people the same, checking others’ bibit (“Is s/he of high or low birth?”), bebet (“She dresses well”), bobot (“Who are his parents? Are they rich?”). That is human after all. And I laughed hard at the brashness in some dialogs, like when (?) asked to which Chu family Rachel belongs. People here (and probably elsewhere) could be that shameless.

Many scenes, like the wedding scene, are….how to say? Over the top. And what can not not over the top when it comes to what money can buy? After the movie, friends were talking about how rich people they know spent their wealth. I only said to them that I only covet Astrid’s earrings which cost SGD1.2 m. It could buy me tickets around the world!

I did not understand the mahjong scene but it did remind me a lot of Joy Luck Club, both the movie and the book. But what do those tiles mean? Clearly, the director wanted moviegoers to talk about it. And I bet the author is a fan of Amy Tan.