Posted: August 21, 2018 08:00 Updated: Aug 21, 2018 11:24 AM
SINGAPORE (AP) – The craze for "Crazy Rich Asians" hits Asia, with a premiere in Singapore followed by openings in several neighboring countries later this week.
Much of the exaggeratedly romantic comedy took place in this rich city-state. When the stars flew past flashing lights along the red carpet on Tuesday evening, fans and tourists swarmed around them and took pictures and asked for selfies.
The film is expected to attract enthusiastic crowds in Asia, after his bonanza with the bank office in the US.
Directed by John M. Chu, the film was adapted from the best-selling novel by Singaporean author Kevin Kwan of the same name. It follows the Chinese-American Rachel Chu as she travels to Singapore with her friend Nick Young to meet his family and discovers they are ultra-rich.
The film attracts a mixed reaction. Film admirers say that as the first Asian cast movie to be released in more than two decades by a major Hollywood studio, it raises the usual stereotypes of Hollywood's Asian characters. Critics say it lacks an opportunity to show the ethnic diversity of Singapore.
The $ 30 million Warner Bros. film has raised more than $ 35 million since the world debut of Los Angeles in August 15, and came forward with its release in American theaters over the weekend.
"This (film) is something very personal to people, and it feels like a bigger movement than just the movie itself," Chu, the director, told The Associated Press.
The film has been criticized for its misrepresentation of ethnic diversity in Singapore, and some call it a misrepresentation of the minority races in the country. Although the majority of the inhabitants are Chinese, a quarter of the population is Malay, Indian or Eurasian, with many migrant workers from other Asian countries such as Bangladesh or the Philippines.
"There is this whole idea that the film is a triumph for representation, which is very problematic. The only Indians and Malays you see are servants," said Nicholas Yong, a Singaporean journalist and author who watched the film for the premiere. in Singapore.
Although the glamorous representation of Singapore could boost its tourism, it was not entirely applauded.
"For us, & # 39; Crazy Rich & # 39; should not only be about the opulence and luxury shown in the film, but the actual wealth of Singapore in terms of our diversity," said spokeswoman Lynette Pang from the Singapore Tourism Board.
Like everywhere, in Singapore, the super-rich with their extravagant lifestyle are a small, privileged minority.
Writing in the South China Morning Post of Hong Kong, which has more than its share in tycoons and elite affluent families, commentator Alex Lo said he was having the movie with guilty pleasure & # 39; enjoyed.
"But apart from that, I notice that the whole purpose of the film exercise is to enchant and legitimize the super-rich in Asia, many of which are ethnic Chinese in real life," he said.
"Should we, as the public and hoi polloi, be seduced and impressed by the display of mega-wealth, which is described as accurate by most reports, or should we rather be repelled?"
Many in Asia were looking forward to seeing some familiar faces.
In Manila, the Philippines, an audience of mainly film writers, critics and bloggers and a few celebrity guests were enthusiastic and applauded two Filipinos in the film, Kris Aquino and Nico Santos, during a progress screening on Monday night in their role, Ruth said. Navarra-Mayo, an editor of the Lifestyle section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper.
Santos plays a fashion designer. Aquino, a popular actress and daughter of the late pro-democracy champions in the Philippines, played a member of the Malaysian royalty.
A former American colony, the Philippines have a heavily westernized culture and Hollywood films are a local entertainment element. The public would welcome more films with Asian themes and characters, Navarro-Mayo said.
"We want to see Asian actors on Asian subjects," said Navarro-Mayo. "We are hungry and ready for this kind of movies."
Associated Press writer Jim Gomez in Manila contributed to this report.