Saturday, August 25, 2018

Not Crazy, Not Rich, Just Proudly Malaysian

I don't usually go to the movies (can't even remember the last time I went to a movie theater), but Crazy Rich Asians was one that I've been wanting to watch since I saw the trailer few months back. I've always enjoyed rom-com so this one is right up my alley. Coincidentally, the movie was released around our birthdays so the opening weekend was a perfect timing for a movie date. 

I didn't read the book and and went into the movie theater with zero expectations. No doubt there was a lot of hype about it, but we both really enjoyed the movie. The director, Jon Chu definitely did a great job incorporating a lot of unique aspects about that part of the world in the movie - the food, heritage, culture, language, architecture, scenery, etc. 

To me, this movie isn't about representation or an all-Asian cast. Like what Henry Golding said, "Growing up in Malaysia, there wasn't really a problem with representation. We saw faces like ours on screen." For me, it's about Malaysian pride. I'm just very proud to see Singapore Malaysia and Malaysians being portrayed on the big screen in Hollywood (in a good way). P.S. Majority of the filming took place in Malaysia and two of the main casts, Michelle Yeoh and Henry Golding are from Malaysia. 

In a way (minus the crazy rich part), we could totally relate to Nick and Rachel's experience when hubby traveled to Malaysia to "see where I grew up, meet my family, my Ah Ma", for the first time in 2010. Now that hubby has traveled to Malaysia for a few times, there are even more in the movie that he could relate to.

I thought this movie was fitting to celebrate our 10th year of knowing each other and gave us the opportunity to walk down memory lane. Here are a 10 things in the movie that we enjoyed and could absolutely relate to:

1. Manglish/Singlish

Screenshot: Warner Bros. Pictures

The movie subtly and brilliantly used a number of jargons that only M'sians/Singaporeans can relate to without overdoing it. The movie started off with the text message sequence...featuring Lah, Walao, Alamak. Even hubby knows most of these terms now. =P Another Mandarin term that hubby recognized (thanks to me) was during the last scene in the plane, where the auntie asked Rachel to "kuai dian kuai dian (faster faster)"! Other languages that made it into the movie included Hokkien (including the slightly inappropriate "ku ku jiao"), Cantonese, and Malay.

2. Changi vs. JFK airport

Dec 2010: Hubby's first time in Changi airport

I'm sure a lot of people agree with Rachel's comparison of Changi airport and JFK airport. Changi's butterfly garden and movie theater (and free massage chairs) makes JFK "salmonella and despair". That's hubby's impression of Changi (or Asian airports in general) too...haha!!

3. It's HOT (and humid) there

Dec 2010: Hubby's first experience of what hot and humid!! Someone needs the air-con.

When Rachel arrived at Peik Lin's home for the first time, Peik Lin's mother said something about it being hot outside, and invited her into the house to "enjoy the air-con", I thought that was a good one. Hubby agrees 100% too...hahaha!!

4. Singapore's skyline

Screenshot: Warner Bros. Pictures. 
Dec 2010: Counting down to 2011 in Singapore.

We visited Singapore together for the first time during hubby's first visit to Asia and it was quite a special one as we counted down for 2011 overlooking Singapore's spectacular skyline with fireworks, just like in the movie. =P

5. Eat eat eat

When in Malaysia, Ah Ma will make sure you eat all day every day.

The hawker scene is going to make you hungry. As hubby knows best, we take pride in our food (especially hawker food) and eating is a must-do in Malaysia. Pretty sure hubby was overwhelmed during his first visit because Ah Ma was constantly asking him to eat, even when he wasn't hungry...haha!! In fact, he was very impressed with my dad and bro's ability to eat non-stop all day. =P

6. Langkawi Island

Dec 2012: Proposal in Langkawi Island.
Screenshot: Warner Bros. Pictures. 

The bachelorette party and the scene between Nick and Colin on a wooden pontoon was actually filmed in Langkawi. Langkawi island is another special place for us as that was where hubby proposed in 2012. =)

7. Mahjong scene

Screenshot: Warner Bros. Pictures. 
Dec 2013: Pre-wedding photoshoot at Blue Mansion, Penang.

The symbolic mahjong scene between Rachel and Eleanor was filmed in Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (Blue Mansion) in Penang. This was one of the locations for our pre-wedding photoshoot in 2013. =)

8. Soundtracks

Dec 2013: Tian Mi Mi Karaoke session during our wedding ceremony

Several classic Mandarin/Cantonese songs made it into the movie and soundtrack. Even though the song 甜蜜蜜 wasn't included in the official soundtrack, a small part of it appeared in the movie and hubby was able to recognize it right away, thanks to the 'training' during our!

9. Michelle Yeoh

Screenshot: Warner Bros. Pictures. 
Proud to be shame! =P

Interestingly, hubby's favorite Asian actress was Michelle Yeoh and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon was one of his favorite movies. This was before we even knew each other. In fact, he didn't even know that Michelle Yeoh is also a Malaysian until I told him. As for me, I 'thick-faced-ly' answered Michelle Yeoh as the famous person who reminds me of myself in the questionnaire I submitted for our Amazing Race application...haha! She definitely makes us Malaysians proud, and perfectly carried the role of Eleanor Young. I'm glad my MIL was not like Eleanor...hahaha! 

10. "Pursuing one's American"

This classic line by Eleanor was sarcastic, but yet so true. I may be generalizing but most Asian parents expect their children to study medicine, law, engineering, or accounting. That's because they know you're pretty much secured a job upon graduating. Hubby was given the freedom to study what he liked ('passion') but he wished he studied something that's easier to find a job, like me. =P Based on my personal experience, I certainly prefer the realistic Asian approach, get a degree that will secure you a job first, pursue your passion later. A good example is Gemma Chan (Astrid), she graduated with a law degree from University of Oxford, but chose to pursue an acting career after. 

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