“BOK BOK BITCH”
The 2018 American romance comedy film directed by Jon Chu is not your typical Cinderella movie. It depicts a difficult love story between an economics professor, Rachel Chu and the world famous, silver-spoon Nick Young, son of the richest family in Singapore.
Nick Young takes her back to Singapore to attend his best friend’s wedding, where she discovers his identity, and realises she must overcome the barrier of a protective mother in a super rich household. Rachel was ultimately devalued, I mean, obviously right? She didn’t fit the mother’s standards; she was a lower class immigrant and a poor professor – she had nothing, while he had everything.
The movie outshines itself with their spectacular locations in the heart of Singapore, featuring Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands Hotel. These extraordinary places really make you yearn for a holiday in Singapore. But what was misleading, is that certain locations that were supposedly in Singapore, were in fact filmed in their neighbouring country, Malaysia.
Crazy Rich Asians attempts to include the Singaporean culture, but the lack of Singaporean/Malaysian accents made it lose its authenticity. Most actors had fluent English, with the exception of the aunties. As a fellow Malaysian myself, I know how much the accent means to us.
It highlighted glimpses of hawker street food which was absolutely precious. It reminded me of home. Although the movie was about the affluent, it shows that wealth isn’t everything. Nick Young showed us that if he can leave everything for Rachel Chu, then we can live without a big mansion too – not that we had one anyways.
This film dwells on more than just luxury. It articulates the importance of family and the bond that Asian parents have with their children; the sacrifices, love and how much devotion is put into providing for us.
The most important scene I believe is the part where Rachel asks Nick’s mother to play a game of Mahjong with her. This is the most touching scene because it reveals a bitter sweetness that is entrenched with guilt and sacrifice.
It is a very humorous, loving and beautifully executed film, that hinges on themes of family, compassion, class and most importantly, love.
It reminds us that wealth lies in the heart and not in the material that you own.