19th Sep2018

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Harry Shum Jr., Ken Jeong, Sonoya Mizuno, Chris Pang, Jimmy O. Yang, Ronny Chieng, Remy Hii, Nico Santos, Jing Lusi | Written by Peter Chiarelli, Adele Lim | Directed by Jon M. Chu


Crazy Rich Asians follows Rachel Chu (Wu), an American-born Chinese economics professor, who travels to her boyfriend Nick’s (Golding) hometown of Singapore for his best friend’s wedding. Before long, his secret is out: Nick is from a family that is impossibly wealthy, he’s perhaps the most eligible bachelor in Asia, and every single woman in his ultra-rarefied social class is incredibly jealous of Rachel and wants to bring her down.

Jon M. Chu’s Crazy Rich Asians is by no means the simplistic romantic comedy venture many seem to label it as such. It’s far better than that slightly drab description. Within the first few frames, it’s clear what direction Chu’s film is taking with a strong influence of social commentary on racial discrimination in a vivid exploration of social economics and dynamics within a vast dynasty of heritage and loyalty. It’s a theme explored throughout the picture that excels and perpetuates a far greater discussion, combined and threaded with a delicious dose of humour that thankfully never over exaggerates nor takes centre stage over pressing themes.

The potent amount of vibrant and expressive colour utilised within the capture of the culture present is captivating and staggeringly beautiful, both on the eyes and evoking a vast and grand scale of wealth the populates the screen, courtesy of a spectacular production design by production designers Nelson Coates and Ewen Leslie. Coinciding with incredibly attractive photography showcased in the truly effective cinematography by Vanja Cernjul who captures such an intense layer of spirit and warmth on screen. It is this prowess and conviction that puts Crazy Rich Asians in a league of its own and far ahead of its genre contemporaries with a layer of confidence that ultimately evokes exerts of comfortability, especially considering the rather underwhelming filmography by director Jon M. Chu who hasn’t necessarily blazed Hollywood on fire with his last few features, but if Crazy Rich Asians shows, he is thankfully on the right track of drama rather than his poor exploration within the action genre.

However, what is the biggest and most important aspect of this picture is the utilizing of an entirely Asian cast list that’s nothing but magnificent. Aside from the racially conscious opening sequence, the matter of colour of skin ultimately becomes second nature (while still ever so relevant and important to the events) to a film that primarily focuses on characters with problems ranging with significant highs and lows that ultimately serve the film well by not isolating the film to a stereotype and limited audience. Gemma Chan, Michelle Yeoh and Awkwafina are a trio that excels in a manner of outstanding proportion. Chan, a relatively fresh player in terms of Hollywood features puts forth a stunning portrayal of an emotionally dynamic character that leaves traces of more exploration in a sequel left open, but given the chance, she completely steals every scene she’s in. As does Awkwafina, who is cripplingly funny in the more light-hearted sequences that allow the film to breathe and managing to inject another layer of character development, deserves to be recognised. Yeoh, is deliciously evil and wicked, evoking such a sense of crippling fear towards the audience whenever she appears on screen, being frightening and fabulously in a crucial albeit villainous induced conventional writing.

Crazy Rich Asians is in cinemas everywhere now.


Comments are closed.