This week I went to see Crazy Rich Asians, the movie based on the book of the same name by Kevin Kwan. It’s been storming the box office in the US, where it has surpassed the $US100 million mark from a production budget of $US30 million! And of course, being an Asian-Australian, I was curious to see what the fuss was about.
There’s been a lot in the media about this movie, in particular about a long overdue representation of Asian faces on the big screen. Well, actually the ones where they aren’t drug dealers, doing martial arts or villagers fleeing from a war zone. Or maybe accused of eating dog. Yes, I’m talking about the infamous episode on Neighbours where an Asian family on Ramsay Street was accused of eating a family pet. You can view a clip of the episode here.
It’s taken 25 years to get this far
Crazy Rich Asians is Hollywood’s first studio production since “The Joy Luck Club” to tell a story about contemporary Asian identity. It has taken a quarter-century to get this far which is a disappointing reminder of just how slow meaningful change occurs in an industry that likes to pride itself on its progressivism and empathy.
Various publications have featured Asian Australians on the impact this movie has made and many have spoken about it being an empowering experience. For example, Writer Michelle Law says, “I burst out crying. I think I cried about five times at different moments during the film. I think physically seeing it on the screen felt like an antidote to the media I had seen growing up as an Asian Australian”.
We can all take leading roles – in movies, our lives and the boardroom
I found the movie entertaining but like most rom-coms, they are predictable. Think Cinderella with an Asian cast.
But the movie is not about the underrepresentation of Asians in mainstream media. Whether you’re a creative, a minority or simply different -it’s about time there was something this BIG in the spotlight to show diverse people are not just one ‘type’ of person – they make up many different types of people, with different interests.
Crazy Rich Asians shows that we can all take leading roles in our lives from taking charge of your own personal development to taking on leadership roles in corporate land.
Crazy Rich Asian shows if you had any insecurities and setbacks in life, work or just not sure if you’re pursuing the right opportunity – no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Don’t give them permission.
Oh and do watch the movie.
Catherine is obsessed with words especially how they spark emotion and it’s ability to connect with others. At Dawn, she helps with any wordy woes and the content strategy. Other than her love of writing, she likes to do yoga with a glass of Pinot noir.