Crazy Rich Asians has major impact, importance

Rachel Edie, Staff Writer

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“Crazy Rich Asians,” adapted by Warner Bros. Studio, is the name of the first Hollywood movie in over 25 years to be centered around an all-Asian cast. The movie has sparked debate across an internet that, at this point, thought they were used to powerful movements. The movie has inspired so many Asian-Americans simply because they now have a voice in media. Its representation and authenticity has been groundbreaking for a largely neglected audience in our country.

“It’s extremely emotional for me and more impactful than I ever thought it would be,” Awkwafina, who plays Peick Lin, said when interviewed by CBS on her feelings on the movie. “On set, I knew this would be bigger than myself, bigger than the cast.”

The main character in the book-to-movie adaptation by author Kevin Kwan, Rachel Chu, is asked by her boyfriend, Nick Young, of a year to visit his family in time for his childhood best friend Colin’s wedding and her college best friend in his home country of Singapore. Once in Singapore, she comes to the conclusion that his family is rich. Maybe even crazy rich. Most of his family seems to take a liking to her, except for his mom. Once there they face all the other issues a couple would face on their first trip together and then some. Rachel is faced with wondering if her relationship is worth what problems it will bring and Nick is faced with an even more difficult decision, Rachel or his family?

Previously, Hollywood in a majority has secluded Asian-Americans to roles as the sidekicks to promote a more comedic atmosphere in a scene or the stereotypical intelligent student. If you look at the movies such as “Indiana Jones Temple of Doom,” the sidekick of Indiana Jones, Short Round, is there arguably only to interfere in tragic moments as comedic relief. This movie shortly follows the success of “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “Fresh Off the Boat” and almost tackles the success of those movies in the movement.

However impactful this movie is for some people, others think of it as detrimental. They see it as painting an even more stereotypical light on their culture. The movie does, at times, seem to lean on an Americanized version of the culture. You could argue, however, that it seems that way because it is through the eyes of an Asian-American woman who only has her perspective on life because that is how she was raised.

Another argument against the adaptation was the lack of representation of other cultures within the continent of Asia. Locals on Twitter were particularly annoyed by this. Their argument was that the movie only showcases the talent of Chinese culture, placing it on an elite pedestal, while disregarding minorities such as Malays or Armenians.

In order to disprove this, you have to look a little closer at the original book. The author wrote this with the intention of representing his childhood in Singapore so it would be his perspective. You could also take a look at the extras in Singapore and look at the amount of representation which seemingly accurately portrays the culture.

This movie has sparked a large debate throughout the internet discussing Asian representation. No matter the backlash, it seems to majoritively bring hope to an audience that couldn’t previously have had a voice if the role wasn’t a stereotype of comedic sidekick. With the success of the ever growing Hollywood roles for Asian-Americans, they finally have a voice. Now they just have to choose what to do with that voice.

As director Jon M. Chu said, “This is more than a movie, it’s a movement.”


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