Victoria Jelinek


Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy_Rich_Asians_posterWhen Nick invites Rachel to a wedding in Singapore, she views it as an opportunity to meet Nick’s family and see where he came from. Upon arrival, however, Rachel discovers that Nick has been keeping a secret: his family are the richest people in the entire country, and Nick is the heir to the fortune and something of a national celebrity.

The film and the book it’s adapted from are derivative – Pride & Prejudice meets Cinderella – cleverly infused with modern elements, such as the Asian locale and the private lives of the jet-setting-hyper-rich. And the film delivers on its title – every one of the characters based in Asia has a huge bank account and shows it off as garishly as they possible can. Even so, Crazy Rich Asians does introduce some real world topics into the conversation, amidst its being audaciously charming and fun.

While the political and cultural implications of a studio film* having an all-Asian cast are noteworthy, Crazy Rich Asians takes this mantle lightly, gracefully, humorously, and with a dazzling array of sequins. The film is completely over-the-top, but it’s grounded in sympathetic characters. The story begins in a very jolly tone, with jokes that often make you laugh out loud, but it gets funnier and more poignant as we see beneath the expensive surfaces of the film’s characters to their true insecurities.

Clever, funny, lavish and topical, a sequel is already underway!

* It was financed and produced independently to ensure creative freedom, which included the desire for an all-Asian cast, and then WB picked up the theatrical distribution.

 

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