Hollywood's recent trilogy of Asian representations comes to a grand firework finale in Crazy Rich Asians - following the critical, commercial and especially cultural significance of Searching and The Meg. Director Jon M Chu of G.I Joe Retaliation, Step it Up 2 and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never fame - takes the challenge of visualising Kevin Kwan's New York Times Best-Selling book. Luckily for us however, Crazy Rich Asians isn't nearly half as bad as Chu's previous films. New York academic Rachel is invited to meet her boyfriend Nick's family in Singapore, blissfully unaware that they are actually multi-billionaires.
This vibrant and jaw-dropping rom-com is a milestone achievement that really does live up to the hype. Crazy Rich Asians has taken the world by storm, and judging by its lavish cinematography, authentic Chinese soundtrack and charming, all Asian cast it's no surprise why. Chu borrows from the classic, old as time rom-com formula and modernises it in a stylish, suave and spectacular manner. It has the conventional moments we've come to expect but brings us a new type of chick flick protagonist, a headstrong heroine whose decisions are both selfless and well-informed.
Constance Wu is possibly the most captivating rom-com lead since Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada. Rachel Chu is well-rounded, down to earth and extremely endearing - Wu delivers us a completely relatable, girl next door type who must keep her best poker face in a complex game of chicken with Nick's mum Eleanor Young. Chu creates a tense friction between Rachel and Eleanor as she intently seeks her approval, bringing us Mum vs girlfriend - it's a mighty face off and as these two characters butt heads you'll certainly be squirming in your seat. Crazy Rich Asians explores the pressures of family expectations and the glorification of money and wealth - setting native New Yorker Rachel against an empire of Singapore billionaires. The old money power of the Young family closes in on Rachel in true Star Wars trash compactor style - but she never backs down, and brings a sense of realism to their idealistic, isolated world.
Across the board everything works well, but perhaps nothing as wonderfully as the awe-inspiring mise-en-scène - observing Singapore almost like Woody Allen observes Manhattan. With landscape shots that will make your heart skip a beat and street food close ups that will make your mouth water, Crazy Rich Asians is a deep dive into Asian culture, never letting up on its phenomenal cinematography.
Crazy Rich Asians marks a new high for the rom-com genre, maintaining all the same charm but offering a new culture to experience it through. From its opening scene this picture is bursting full of colour, life and visual splendor. Everything about this film works, from its charming lead to its hilarious, knife-edged script that will definitely catch you off guard - Crazy Rich Asians isn't just crazy good it's an absolute must-see.
Crazy Rich Asians:
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.