by Janielle Delfin
Anybody who knows about movies knows the unfortunate lack of accurate representation of Asians on the silver screen. It seems Asian characters often play the roles of sidekicks, geeks, or martial arts masters (usually in Hollywood movies). Case in point: Katana in Suicide Squad, Kato in The Green Hornet, Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles, and of course, every Bruce Lee, Jet Li, and Jackie Chan film – the list goes on and on. So it comes as no surprise when movie and book lovers started to talk nonstop about an upcoming Hollywood movie that has none of those stereotypes.
Based on Kevin Kwan’s best-selling book, Crazy Rich Asians is the first major Hollywood production in 25 years to have an all Asian cast. And guess what? It’s neither a period film nor is it about martial arts! This movie is indeed long overdue and everyone just cannot wait to see it.
The female protagonist Rachel Chu leads a pretty good life. She has a job that she likes, a mother who is like a best friend to her, and a smart, loving boyfriend that looked like he belongs in a magazine. In short, things are the way they’re supposed to be in Rachel’s life. But the craziness started to unfold when Rachel agreed to go to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family. The experience surely can be nerve-racking for anyone, but Rachel never thought that the encounter would leave her shook to her core. Little did she know that her handsome boyfriend is the heir apparent of Singapore’s top developer – he’s not just rich, he’s crazy rich! Being the girlfriend of Singapore’s top bachelor, Rachel becomes the target of jealous socialites and overly critical relatives (especially his mother).
Crazy Rich Asians is not just like any other chick lits out there. With its satirical approach and its insider story-telling, the movie exposes the life of Asia’s most privileged bunch. But be warned, you may want to prepare your Math skills because there will be a lot of computing of everybody’s wealth; the display of incredible grandeur and extravagance is reason enough not to miss the movie.
In addition to that, it’s packed with such unique characters that one would be left thinking that it’s injustice if they don’t get their own spin-offs. These impressive characters are played by equally remarkable international stars. Fresh Off the Boat star Constance Wu will star as Rachel Chu, an American-born Chinese economics professor at NYU. Starring alongside her will be British-Malayan actor Henry Golding as her crazy rich but modest boyfriend, Nicholas Young. Michelle Yeoh, who is best known for her role in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is playing Eleanor, Nick’s judgmental mother who will stop at nothing to bring Rachel down while Nick’s fashionable cousin, Astrid aka “The Goddess”, is played by Humans star Gemma Chan. There are more stars to watch out for such as Akwafina (MTV’s Girl Code), Chris Pang (Marco Polo), Sonoya Mizuno (La La Land), Harry Shum Jr. (Glee), and Ken Jeong (Community) among others. And of course, our very own Kris Aquino will have a five-minute cameo in the film. In a reply to a comment on her Instagram post, she revealed that she will be portraying the role of a “princess”. We don’t know who exactly, we’ll just have to watch the movie to find out!
Each member of the cast surely captures the distinct and diverse qualities of the characters. The movie does not depict the idea of Asians but showcases their different lives and experiences whether they grew up in Asia or abroad like Rachel. Movie-goers will not only leave the theaters laughing but also with an expanded understanding of the various facets of Asians’ lives.
So get ready to go gaga as Crazy Rich Asians, directed by Jon M. Chu (Now You See Me 2), is scheduled to hit theaters this August 2018!