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Crazy Rich Asians starring Constance Wu and Henry Golding: First trailer #book2movie

A Hollywood movie with an all-Asian cast is no everyday occasion. The Joy Luck Club, Peony in Love, Memoirs of a Geisha, Snowflower and the Secret Fan. It makes sense then that the anticipated release of Crazy Rich Asians starring Constance Wu and Henry Golding would cause a stir, and especially in 2018, come with heightened expectations that it be authentic and representative of the people in the novel. Let’s take a look at the trailer.

There was already some criticism from the Asian community that the casting of Henry Golding, who is apparently half Asian and half white sent a message that Asian actors aren’t attractive enough to play a male lead. 

Now that the first trailer for Crazy Rich Asians has actually dropped there are further complaints that the film lacks diversity. ‘Asian’ is a huge, all-encompassing word for the people in Kevin Kwan’s bestselling book, set mainly in the Malaysian city of Singapore. According to Quartzy, Singapore is a multicultural society, with ethnic Chinese making up 74% of the population, Malays 15%, and Indians 7.4%. Diversity like that has many colors, many faces, and many voices.

(Personal sidenote: my all-white, British uncle left England in the 1960’s for Singapore where he lived for the rest of his life and where he married what the family called ‘a Chinese girl’. They had a son who grew up and married, in his words via an email to me, ‘a lovely Indian girl, a Sindhi lass’. And they had a little girl, and so on and so on.)

Some of the criticism comes from the trailer’s lack of characters with a Singapore accent, what they call ‘Singlish’, and a predominance of English and American accents. That’s an aspect I can’t speak to but I’m curious as to how it might ultimately impact the film’s reception. 

Plenty of time to read Crazy Rich Asians before it hits theaters in August. Or, if you like, go to my post where author Kevin Kwan goes to the Google campus and both reads from, and discusses Crazy Rich Asians himself.

Are you a fan of the book? What do you think of the trailer? Lay it on me, I’m all ears.