A Rom-Com with Substance: My thoughts on “Crazy Rich Asians”

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Rating: ★★★★

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. This isn’t really the kind of film I’m particularly fond of. Everything about it screams ‘cheesy rom-com’, just look at that poster. But, I’m happy to say I walked away from this film feeling so glad that I had watched it. This is a classic example of not judging a film by its poster or trailer, as it has so much more to offer.

As the title of my review suggests, I mainly loved this film because of the overall narrative. There’s a lot of character development and dark secrets, meaning your interest is constantly held throughout the film. You really start to care about these characters and their lives, and I didn’t feel like anyone was just thrown in there for the sake of it. The dynamics between characters is really well done and realistic, and it’s very easy for you to quickly love or hate them. I was so impressed by the quality of the acting, and how each actor brought their characters to life on screen. I was especially blown away by Michelle Yeoh and Gemma Chan, for very different reasons.   I was also happy to see an all-Asian cast in a mainstream film, as we still have a lot to do when it comes to wider representation and films like this are a huge step in the right direction.

I also feel like people could identify with some of the themes, especially this idea of a class divide and feeling unwelcome. It was so eye-opening to see how some people are shunned by families because of their social status, and how important it is for families to protect their name and heritage at all costs. Whilst Crazy Rich Asians shows an extreme version of this type of behaviour, class divides are prevalent across the world so this was a really interesting theme to explore. This theme is one of the reasons why I felt this film had so much substance, as it goes beyond simply being just another rom-com and shows us some serious, real-life issues instead. There are some scenes in Crazy Rich Asians that are far from comedic, and shows us a darker side to life within a wealthy, influential circle. The results are as dark as you’d expect. I don’t want to give any spoilers – experience it for yourself instead.

As for the comedy, it was genuinely laugh-out-loud funny. I am always apprehensive with comedy films as sometimes it can become too ridiculous and slapstick, but Crazy Rich Asians was satirical and smart, with some silly moments thrown in there too. I’m so impressed with how they blended humour with drama this effortlessly. It knows how to balance this without going too far one way, and the result is an incredibly well-rounded and three dimensional film that made me laugh and cry in equal measure. It’s a truly captivating film from start to finish.

Visually, it’s a stunning piece of cinema. You’re greeted with bright colours, gorgeous set design, and you’re transported to a world of luxury and Chinese culture, with these hostile undertones. On the big screen it’s even better, because you get to experience this gorgeous film on a large scale. It’s hard to take your eyes off it. I’m looking forward to revisiting this film in future so I can look for more details the second time around, as I’m sure I missed stuff during my initial viewing!

If this is the future of rom-com, consider me converted. I was so impressed by the overall film and would recommend it to anyone. Please don’t let the title and synopsis put you off, it’s such a smart, funny, heartbreaking film and I urge you to give it a go. You might end up as surprised as me!

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