The movie – Crazy Rich Asians – is basically a simple love story that is made utterly complicated by family. You can easily relate with the characters in the movie through their painful and emotional moments even if some of us are not married or even dating millionaires. We love the opulent settings, the flashy outfits, jewels, and gilded homes.
Unlike most of the rom-com movies the Rachel (played by Constance Wu) does not desire for something better in life and her life is definitely not in shambles. She is a career woman, happy to be in love and eager to meet Nick’s parents. Wu sports an optimistic look throughout the film and she is really a quick-witted person as we find out during the course of the movie. Nick’s mom is played by veteran actress Michelle Yeoh who disapproves Nick’s choice from the word ‘go’ and is quite reluctant to let her even enter their mansion. His mom is hoping for a moneyed bride for her son and she almost reminds Rachel of the class differences between the two families.
Apart from the money differences, the film carefully highlights how people like Rachel have to endure the pains of being a Chinese-American in a country where she was born but is not readily accepted by many. But these feelings never become her weakness; it ultimately becomes her strength. She chooses to be proud of her immigrant roots although Nick’s mom almost shames her in every scene in the film.
Crazy Rich Asians may have the look of a 1930s MGM film but the movie has a number of wonderful scenes that highlight cultural specificity. This is a love story, no doubt, but it is a powerful film with a female protagonist as the central theme of the film. We do see glimpses of anti-Asian discrimination face by Eleanor (Nick‘s mom) and how she used wealth as a deterring force. The best performance in the film comes from Awkwafina who played the role of Rachel’s best friend. She gives in a stellar performance which gives the film some of its dramatic moments. As Nick’s mom, Michelle Yeoh delivers a performance which befits her stature.