Crazy Rich Asians does not even have a planned release in China, but more than a thousand Chinese cinema visitors who have apparently seen the film are already singing – and many of them are not impressed.
The film is already calling for a lot of attention in the country. On Weibo, the Twitter-like social network of China, have messages with the hashtag # 摘金 奇缘 (the Chinese title of the film, which literally translates to & # 39; unexpected romance with a view to collecting gold & # 39;) more than 8 million views (link in Chinese).
The film, which takes place in Singapore and has a full Asian cast, is undoubtedly an overwhelming victory for the Asian representation in Hollywood, but some Chinese viewers do not find it so representative of Asians – and instead criticize the film for its stereotypes and to be more a reflection of Asian-American culture.
As of today (August 24), Douban, the Chinese version of IMDb, has collected more than 1,600 reviews (link in Chinese) for Crazy Rich Asians– a relatively small number compared to blockbusters that have had official Chinese releases, such as Dangal and Black Panther. The reviews were written in Chinese, probably by Chinese who watched the film while traveling or living abroad, or by people who have obtained an illegal version.
Currently, Crazy Rich Asians has a score of 7.7 out of 10 – almost half of the romantic and comic films rated by Douban users scores better. Outside of China, it has criticized 93% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
"Crazy stereotyped", wrote the user Drown (link in Chinese), whose Douban profile says that she comes from the province of Jiangsu.
"My ABC friends love it all while my Chinese friends hate it," the user Mr.Charles (link in Chinese), who lives in Washington DC, wrote. His abbreviation "ABC" refers to American-born Chinese, who are culturally different from Chinese. "What the film offers is only a glimpse of it [Asian] culture, "he added.
One user criticized the film because of the lack of authenticity, compared to American, American food. "As a native Asian, I feel like I'm eating General Tso's chicken in a Chinese restaurant" in a foreign country, spoken by a Los Angeles-based user using the name Durian Cake Brother (link in the Chinese). "It seems to be a film about Asians, but its spirit is American, and the protagonist is an ABC, and the story is about how Asians look in the eyes of the Americans."
An important exception to the criticism is the skillfully choreographed and symbol-charged mahjong scene between the protagonist, the Chinese-American economist Rachel Chu and the disapproving Singaporean mother, Eleanor Young, of her boyfriend. Many users (link in Chinese) valued the layers of meaning behind their seated positions, strategies and tiles, where the Chinese numerology and meaning were included with compass directions. "Many good details in the mahjong scene that the battle between the mother-in-law and [prospective] daughter-in-law, "wrote Miss Music (link in Chinese) from Shanghai.
It remains unclear whether the film will come to Chinese theaters. China has had a quota of 34 Hollywood films for most years, although in 2017 it allowed 39 releases (link in Chinese). Already 30 Hollywood films have made it to China, the second largest film market in the world this year.