Showing posts with label Movie Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movie Review. Show all posts

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians Review: Too Asian It Really Made Me Cry


Photo source: https://slate.com/culture/2018/08/crazy-rich-asians-movie-vs-book-differences-between-the-film-adaptation-and-the-novel.html
All the media hype of Kevin Kwan’s best-selling novel, Crazy Rich Asians did not fail to deliver. The trailblazing romance comedy movie with an all Asian cast was rife with vibrant and free-spirited characters that our jaws hurt from laughing so hard. It was an extravagant display of power and brazen wealth while trying to resolve imperially an all too conflicting familial duty against the desires of the heart.

The opening scene was brief but sufficient to convey a strong message. Old money fixes everything- even a callous case of racism. Perhaps it also gives us a glimpse of the constant struggles that people of other race face even in a simple case of staying in a hotel.

Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) and Nick Young (Henry Golding) were effervescent in their characters. There is a hint of biased since I am an Asian but I think they won the movie-goers with their indomitable spirits. The theatre was not full but the whole two hours was filled with laughter and loud reactions.

The gentle tug on my heart came when I saw the familiar Singapore Changi airport. I suddenly missed home so much that seeing a recognizable place almost made me teary-eyed. The sight of so many familiar Asian cuisines as seen in street-stall delicacies like satay, dumplings and curry made my stomach growl at the same time made my eyes a little bit misty. The ‘lah’ at the end of the sentence reminded me of my former Singapore and Malay co-teachers and elicited a bit of a chuckle.
The movie was a treasure trove of cultural display. The rich ethnicity of Chinese people was so distinct and although humor was injected in most of them, the truth is palpable. They favor their own people and Rachel is just too ‘American’ to belong to their family. The movie painted a dazzling picture of Singapore and Marina Bay Sands hotel was majestic and grandeur as expected.
The underlying issues with Rachel’s plight were brought into what might be cruel but the truth nonetheless- she will never be enough. It is not just the question of wealth and power but also tradition and culture. Eleanor, Nick’s mother, exudes this aura of opulence and it is difficult to dislike a mother who thinks she knows what’s best for her son. Chinese culture goes deeper than the world-defined hierarchies or imperial influence and the movie clearly depicted that.

Crazy Rich Asians brought me into nostalgic reminiscences of my visits to Singapore. I caught myself exclaiming several times, "I've been there!" The places, the food, the people made the movie too ‘Asian’ that my eyes got misty thinking of the other part of the world I call home.







Saturday, March 17, 2018

I Can Only Imagine Movie Review



I Can Only Imagine (Movie Review/ Reflection)

The old lady beside me was wracked with an onslaught of sobs. My husband was sniffling and so were the people in front of us. It’s been a while since I watched a heavy-drama movie and apparently, I Can Only Imagine has moved a lot of movie-goers in an unbroken stream of tears.

I knew the song long before the name of the singer. The titular, I Can Only Imagine became my source of comfort during the really low point of my life. The lyrics speak through the core of my soul offering both solace and assurance when I thought that I lost everything.

Movies adapted from books are fairly common and I think it’s a bit odd that a song would be the heart of a movie. I expected it to be a bit tedious and desperately sentimental but the movie far exceeded my expectations. The characters gave in-depth justice to the roles they played and while obviously based on a Christian faith, the movie succeeded in conveying the message without overwhelming the audience with Biblical references. While trying to convey the message of abuse as the source of deep pains and hurts, there’s no overpowering graphic images of violence yet the emotions were tender and poignant.
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Finley as Bart Millard impressively brought us into his painful journey that gave life to the lyrics of the song. Surprisingly, Quaid as an abusive father was the reason of the first tears I shed. The scenes were relatable and one could surmise it does happen in real life.  

While the song was mainly about a promise when the time to face God comes, the movie was undeniably a journey of forgiveness. More than the lyrics, what really got through me was the celebratory tone of the music despite of all the pains and sufferings Millard went through in the hands of his father. It evoked feelings and memories long buried inside.

Millard’s journey through forgiveness is certainly a beautiful story that’s worth your time. My husband and I were thankful that we spent our Friday night watching it.

“Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine
I can only imagine.” 








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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time Movie Review



Though there is this great attempt to focus on the all-encompassing rationality and order to the cosmos and the beings within it, A Wrinkle in Time is mostly an allegory about life in general. It is overtly a children’s movie but at the same time, it teases the imagination of adults about choices and life’s decisions. It is easy to get lost in the realm of our dreams and aspirations without really looking from deep within about what matters the most.

The movie was an adaptation of a novel and thankfully, I have not read it yet so I was able to spare myself from the usual disappointments that come after watching a movie adapted from a book. More often than not, the book is better than the movie.

The movie tried to be thrilling but I felt like there were missing aspects that could have filled me with more wonders. It is definitely a cerebral story because it leaves you contemplative about the universe and what lies beneath, however, the movie also contains nondescript scenes that left me condescending about the fact they didn’t seem essential at all. 

The story revolves on the three children in search of a physicist missing for four years and three magical creatures. The magic was definitely magical but not enough to fill me with thrill and wonder. What appeals to me more is the didactic nature wrought by the journey of searching and finally finding the main protagonist’s (Meg Murry) father.

Though it failed to fill with that ‘awe factor’, it did leave me pondering about life and it’s definitely worth watching.

“You mean you're comparing our lives to a sonnet? A strict form, but freedom within it? Yes. Mrs. Whatsit said. You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you.” 
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