Make Some Room for the Riches of the Crazy Rich Asians
A novel adaptation that has broken way too many barriers to even attempt to list down, Crazy Rich Asians has set some new highs in the film industry for sure. The film has garnered nearly $238 million worldwide and the ripples caused by this film are sure to churn up quite a storm in the way Asians and Asian actor-led movies are going to be perceived in the film industry moving forward, not only by the audiences but also by the producers.
Oh, The Irony!
Hollywood, in all its blazing dynamic glory, never seemed to have enough room for an all-Asian led cast as such a phenomenon has not occurred since almost 25 years. The last time a movie featuring a majority Asian and Asian-American cast was made was back in 1993, called The Joy Luck Club.
Since then, nobody has been able to muster up enough courage to go all in with an Asian and/or Asian-American cast most likely because of the notion that it will not do well at the box office. Well, ironically, Crazy Rich Asians has put all such stigmas to rest by becoming the highest grossing romantic comedy of 2018.
What’s the Fuss All About?
The reason for the movie’s success however is not just the fact the it was an all Asian film, but in fact it was the amalgamation of a strong cast, a compelling storyline, commendable direction, and lots of that elite glamour we all hate to love.
The film, with its actors bejeweled in diamonds, wearing the priciest brands, flying in private jets, and crying in expensive cars, offers an exciting summary into the lives of the rich which audiences love to watch due to its aspirational value.
Let’s face it, Serena and Blair from Gossip Girl would not have been so iconic had they not been fashion forward on the show. Iron Man would have probably remained a B-class comic character had the technological affluence of Tony Stark not added the wow factor.
The reason why reality shows covering the lives of the rich and famous are so popular is because it’s fun to see rich people spend their money. Hence, a story about a crazy rich Asian family combined with a sweeping romance saga and just a little bit of drama proved to be a solid recipe for a definite hit.
Critics Having a Field Day
While the movie has been lauded for the performance of its actors and great storyline, one rather inevitable criticism which the movie has received is that it does not represent how the majority of Asians of Asian-Americans live. In fact, quite many will not be able to relate themselves to it at all as it only vaguely represents barely 1% of the Asian lifestyle.
However, while this is a valid reservation from the movie, it does sound odd as the same questions may be posed for other movies which also only serve an aspirational purpose for the audiences without resembling reality at all.
No matter how small the representation might be, the fact is that it matters. And the fact that a movie has been made which Hollywood probably would have had great qualms supporting in the past has set great precedence for diverse representation in films in the future.
Crazy Rich Asians has set an example that the ethnicity or race of the cast does not matter as long as the film is good enough. However, this fact needs to be highlighted, and the only way to do that is by celebrating it.
The Future of Asian Cast Led Films
The fact of the matter is that this movie has paved way for many similar movies in the future, and hopefully Hollywood would be much kinder to new talent coming in from underrepresented minorities. Not only Asians, but we hope to see more Middle-Eastern, South American, and African-Americans in films as well, especially in leading roles.
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