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Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians: why all the fuss? Is it the Hollywood effect?

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 September, 2018, 5:01pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 September, 2018, 5:23pm

I’m not a film buff but somewhat baffled by the feelings of vindication I see expressed about the feat of an all-Asian cast in a successful Hollywood film. Why the inferiority complex? For decades there have been famous and successful Asian films with all-Asian or mostly Asian casts. Just to mention a few: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Eat Drink Man Woman (Ang Lee), Farewell My Concubine (Chen Kaige), Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang Yimou) and In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai). Maybe these films were not that popular with the masses but they certainly were with a more discerning audience which normally spurns Hollywood blockbusters.

I enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians and hope they get an Oscar, but I wouldn’t say it’s the best Asian film ever. As far as the lacking diversity argument is concerned: maybe we’ll see a film about “crazy rich Malays” next, with Chinese in the role of servants. Great for diversity but far removed from reality.

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“Crazy rich Indians” would certainly be realistic, but there I foresee worldwide indignation about Indian servants by definition having a darker skin tone than their patrons. The world is an unfair place, but depicting it as such should not be a crime.

Josephine Bersee, Mid-Levels