*Crazy Rich Asians*
While traveling in Eurasia, I read so many articles about how finally “there was an Asian movie for Asians,” or something like that, and none of them rang true. Upon seeing the movie I was impressed, though it was not what I was expecting. It is mostly a dystopia cloaked as a homage (just to be clear, personally I love Singapore, and its people, and have been numerous times). The underlying message seems to be “Singaporeans are mostly greedy, superficial, uncultured, too brand-conscious, and somewhat unpleasant, unless redeemed by contact with America or Chinese-Americans.” And their supposed pathologies are presented as very directly and specifically Asian and also Singaporean. With only a slightly different framing, this film could have been dismissed as unacceptably racist. And where are those Malays anyway?
Nonetheless as cinema this works, and it is a thrill for me to see Singapore on the big screen and in a #1 movie at that. On top of that, the female lead is an economics professor at NYU who does game theory. Here is my earlier review of the book, which I also enjoyed. For balance, however, you might wish to see Ilo Ilo as well, though that is not a representative sample of Singapore either.
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