CRAZY RICH ASIANS Is One of the Best Films of 2018 [Blu Review]

Warner Brothers releases the Blu-ray package for the hit romcom

Sonoya Mizuno as bride Araminta Lee in CRAZY RICH ASIANS

My feelings haven’t changed much since my first screening of Crazy Rich Asians — if anything, I’ve found more to appreciate about Jon Chu’s movie in subsequent viewings. The quality of production is such that there’s always another aspect to notice and admire. In my recent viewing of the new Blu-ray, the sharp editing and wit of the screenplay were particular standouts.

Crazy Rich Asians finds its rhythm from the start and never gets sluggish, even in its more reflective scenes. It felt darn near refreshing to see a film with a tight pace after some of the other works I’ve slogged through this awards season. The editing folds in the concurrent plotlines: Nick (Henry Golding) and Rachel’s (Constance Wu) adventures in Singapore, Nick’s cousin Astrid (Gemma Chan) and Michael’s (Pierre Png) marriage troubles, and the hints at further stories to come.

Michelle Yeoh in CRAZY RICH ASIANS

Kevin Kwan’s novels are flush with details about the architecture, interior design, fashion, and cars in the lives of his well-to-do characters. Chu and his crew do a close job of replicating the new-wealth ostentation surrounding Rachel’s friend Peik Lin (Awkwafina) and her family or the graceful elegance of Nick’s discerning mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh).

Yeoh’s supporting turn as Eleanor is one of this year’s great performances. Her character arc diverges from that in the source material because the actress wanted the role to be more faceted. Her understated performance shows us that Eleanor misses her son and is bound by traditions and expectations that once limited her own experience. Her aloofness towards Nick’s girlfriend Rachel founders after the two face off in a charged game of mahjongg. Will tradition or her love for her son win out? Can she condone their relationship despite her reluctance?

Adele Lim and Peter Chiarelli’s screenplay maintains the humor of Kwan’s novel, with quick quips and barbs bouncing between characters. The feeling of a screwball comedy inherent to Crazy Rich Asians has a lot to do with their interpretation of the work, the gameness of the cast involved, and the glamour and glitz of the set design. Not to say that there aren’t emotional depths to the romantic comedy; the writers & Chu do a magnificent job of steering us through it all.

Henry Golding and Constance Wu in CRAZY RICH ASIANS

The bonus features in the Warner Brothers Blu-ray Combo package include:

  • a quick gag reel
  • featurette “Crazy Rich Fun” about the beginnings of the film’s production and casting
  • a number of deleted/extended scenes (worth specific mention: Nick & Eleanor argue about Rachel, and Astrid gets a short dance number at the wedding with a certain guy)
  • commentary track from director Jon Chu and novelist Kevin Kwan

Buy: Amazon

Justin has been running websites since his first Geocities site in 1994, but only did he ever start covering anything of substance years later. After he stopped regularly running local concerts in Northern NJ and the greater Philly area, he knew he needed to step up his writing game if he expected to continue to get free music to listen to. He writes regularly here and at Cinapse, as well as contributing to a few other sites on occasion. He likes music, film, the Philadelphia Eagles, the 76ers, talking about Criminal Justice, reading Intelligence Report, and his family... not in that order. His beautiful wife is far more talented than he is and his kids far more adorable... and crazy.
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