Friday, November 9, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians
By Thomas Taylor
(Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment)
On Saturday November 3, Stockton held a showing of the film Crazy Rich Asians in the Campus Center Theatre . I initially didn’t want to see the movie because of how the trailer framed it. Before I saw the movie, I thought that it would be  boring and humorless, but as the film progressed, I feel like I was proven wrong. Crazy Rich Asians’ trailers definitely pandered to the movie’s key audience, but they lacked something that differentiated the movie from most Rom-Coms: the exploration of culture. Crazy Rich Asians explores the difference between Asia and the U.S. through food, customs, and familial roles. Food plays an important role in the movie even from the very beginning. The first time that Rachel, the main character of the movie, meets one of Nick’s cousins, they immediately bond over dinner. Food is constantly used as a chance for Rachel to bond with Nick’s family whether she’s at a dinner party or making dumplings with Nick’s grandma. Customs are also explored in the movie. There is a scene in the trailer, in which, Rachel starts to drink water out of a bowl not knowing that it is for guests to wash their fingers. Although it is played for laughs, it also gives insight on Asian culture. Another stand out scene is when Rachel’s mom is helping her pick out outfits for her trip. In any other chick flick, this would be a fun little montage in which she tries on a bunch of outfits, but the movie uses this scene to teach the audience that every color has a meaning in Asian culture. Blue and white are usually worn at funerals, while a bright, vibrant red signals fortune and fertility. The final insight is the familial role. The story focuses on several families, but most of them show a pattern of similar roles. The man is supposed to be the breadwinner. This is seen in Nick’s brother Eddie Chang who constantly seeks to tower over everyone he meets. It is also seen in Astrid’s husband, but from his lack of money. His infidelity comes from the idea that he resents his wife’s wealth, while he is struggling to start his own business. The second and most focused on role is that of the strong stay at home mom. The main conflict stems from the fact that Nick’s mom, Eleanor, wants Rachel to give up her ambitions and adopt this role so that Nick can inherit his father’s company. Rachel has to show her that women aren’t limited to the role of a mother and can succeed alongside their significant other. My main problem with the movie is the weak third act. Many movies fall into this trap, and Crazy Rich Asians is no different. The ending felt rushed and they could have resolved the climax a lot better, but overall it was an enjoyable film.

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