Crazy Rich Asians

Michael Pasaye, Writer

The representation of minorities in Hollywood has been absent for far too long, but the recent release of movies like Crazy Rich Asians this void is finally being filled. Critics have even cited Crazy Rich Asians as the Black Panther for Asian-Americans.


The movie’s plot follows an Asian-American couple living in New York, Rachel Chu and Nick Young, as they travel to Singapore to attend the wedding of a dear friend. Once there, Rachel meets for the first time, Nick’s family; an insanely rich, famous, and envied family in Singapore — The Young Dynasty.


The main conflict centers around the struggles that Rachel has to face, because of her relationship with Nick. Almost every woman in Singapore envies her, and throughout the movie they accuse her of being a golddigger. This resentment is further perpetuated when Rachel meets Nick’s mother, Eleanor Sung-Young; as she despises Rachel for her American upbringing.


Rachel’s internal conflict is strengthened through Constance Wu’s exceptional performance. For example, in scenes where the couple are alone, Constance’s emotion and passion, accentuates the love between the pair, therefore making scenes where they argue much more heartbreaking.


Another notable performance is that of Michelle Yeoh, who plays Eleanor. Her performance embodies that of a serpent, as her character is very manipulative and cruel, as she slowly sabotages Rachel’s and Nick’s long standing relationship.


Although there were stellar actors like Yeoh, and Wu, there was one performance that was subpar compared to the rest. This mediocrity came from Awkwafina, who played Rachel’s best friend from college. Awkwafina character is the comic relief in the movie, but it was annoying and added nothing to the movie.


The sabotage finally gets to Rachel in the wedding scene towards the end of the movie, where Rachel has a sort of panic attack and escapes the party. She is so fearful of the party because it embodies everything that Rachel and Nick despise on account of how wealthy Nick’s family is. Nick’s cousins for example are so indulged in their fame that they have little care for anything around them, even their families. There are also many women at the party who stare at Rachel and giggle, further perpetuating the notion that people are extremely envious of her.


This cinematography is pretty decent throughout the movie, but there are two scenes in particular that were phenomenal.


The aforementioned scene in which Rachel has a panic attack is able to perfectly encapsulate the fear that fills Rachel through its camera work and editing. Rachel begins to run at the camera, and then it follows in that view, through a maze of partygoers. Each one making her more and more anxious. There is also a lot of shaking and quick camera pans that add to the feeling of anxiety


The other exceptional scene is the wedding scene; this scene is emotionally overwhelming and almost brought me to tears.  The scene begins with pans between Rachel and Nick as they begin to get teary eyed. Then the bride begins to walk in and then everything slows down, heartfelt music beings to play, and then you see the bride looking beautifully radiant. Pans between Rachel and Nick continue to play, and serve to show that they truly love each other.

I came into this movie expecting a dumb rom-com that would be filled with cheesy writing and bad characters, but I left with something much more. Crazy Rich Asians had interesting characters, well-written dialogue, and beautiful shots. This movie absolutely exceeded my expectations.