“Crazy Rich Asians” is refreshing and honest

Racheal Jaeger
Staff Writer

Crazy Rich Asians centers around a young woman, Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), who attends a wedding in Singapore with her serious boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) and is oblivious to how rich he actually is. Not only that but the moment she steps one foot on the island, she learns quickly that she does not measure up to what the family expects from her if she chooses to stay with Nick.

Meanwhile Nick has his own secret goal to propose to Rachel when the timing is right. But Rachel faces conflict with Nick’s ex-girlfriends who acts nice to her face, but then backstabs her and gang up and play malicious tricks on her. Nick’s family is no matter in their antagonism towards Rachel.

The movie focuses on Chinese traditions and values, especially in their emphasis on family first and that the women are responsible for their family’s happiness.

Furthermore, their husbands’ successes depend on the actions of the women. One of the couples in particular has three young boys and while the wife smiles at the camera and society, the audience can sense her unhappiness.

What angered me is the comment from Nick’s mom to Rachel, something about how a family means more than pursuing individual passion. It is mostly because I have struggled with those conservative values in traditions with my background so in a sense, I can understand from both Nick and Rachel’s sides when it comes to feeling the pressure. While I don’t have to take over the family business, there has still been a push for me to view family as the most important and place it above following what I believe in my heart I should follow.

So it is ironic that the main character should have my name, Rachel, only a different spelling and have similar conflicts. While she is an economics professor in New York who worked her way up from being the daughter of a single mom who was a real estate agent.

What Rachel must eventually do is stand up to Nick’s mother, Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh). After Eleanor learns of Rachel’s success as an economics professor, she makes time even more miserable for Rachel. The part that made the strongest statement is when Rachel learns to make dumplings from Nick’s grandmother and Nick shows Rachel how his mother taught him the different folds.

It involved an analogy of getting a baby ready for bed and tucking them in. Rachel pays the family a compliment by saying how much she appreciates the company since she did not grow up with a large family and that it was only her and her mom. Elenanor comments that something as valuable as a family does not just happen or does not come easy but that it takes sacrifice. She also took the opportunity to dig at Rachel’s profession by saying that family is worth more than pursing individual passion.

Later Rachel’s mom reveals to her about her own secrets, such as that her husband mistreated her so she ran away from China. Before she left, she had fallen in love with another man who is Rachel’s real father. Rachel asks her mom a potent question of whether or not she thinks about the man she truly loved, to which her mom replied, “Every day.”

In the middle of the glamorous storytelling and the movie ending on a last-minute high note, Crazy Rich Asians is an honest glimpse at what happens below the surface. It is every subtle detail in life that no one notices. The movie reveals just how much it takes to maintain a superficial appearance from underlying securities that arouse from a person’s background if they are not dealt with.



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