Crazy Rich Asians is making waves all over the world: other than it featuring an all-Asian cast with the talented Michelle Yeoh stealing the show like a boss, it has grossed over USD$130.9 million so far with a budget of USD$30 million, and achieving an impressive 93% approval rating in Rotten Tomatoes.
No wonder a sequel is allegedly coming its way, but let’s face it: while it’s large success everywhere, Singaporeans might still complain, primarily because it’s just not realistic.
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If you’ve watched it, or have no intention to ever spend $10 on it, then read on, because it’s time to debunk some of the myths shown in the movie.
After all, if we don’t complain, we’re not Singaporeans.
Driving in an open-top Jeep
I know it’s all cool to do that, and it’s a cinematic scene, but Nick and his friends seemed to have forgotten that not many people in Singapore drive a Jeep unless you’re a driver in the SAF.
But no, there’s more: Nick and friends decided to drive on an open-top Jeep, because the weather’s so nice and sunny. I understand the need for attention, but what the heck man: they’ll have appeared in Stomp the next day if they really do that.
Why can’t they just take the bus if they want to blend into society? If not, just buy a Porsche Panamera that day and sell it off at a loss the next day lah: It shows their wealth and it can sit four comfortably.
Old Granny Speaks Fluent Mandarin Yet Parent Speaks Cantonese
Michelle Yeoh (who plays Nick’s controlling mother) speaking Cantonese is completely acceptable: we all have parents who speak Hokkien and Cantonese, though they would usually speak Mandarin to the younger generation.
But Nick’s grandmother, who looks to be at least 70, speaking perfect Mandarin?
In a Singapore known as the real Singapore, people like Michelle Yeoh speaks Mandarin (only using Cantonese or Hokkien when they’re speaking to someone of their own age) while grannies like Nick’s grandmother speaks just Cantonese or Hokkien.
Either the Singapore I’ve been living is fake, or the movie is fake.
Chinese Songs Everywhere
Okay, I don’t know much about the rich people in Singapore, but I know a tad about young Singaporeans and their song choices: they like both Chinese and English songs.
And I’m pretty sure they don’t like old Chinese songs, unless you’re Nick’s grandmother.
But what songs were played repeatedly… even on a wedding?
Chinese songs. And we’re not even talking about Jay Chou’s songs.
I thought this movie would show the world that Singapore is not in China. Well, it might just reinforce that misconception instead.
Singaporeans All So Rich?
So, Rachel has a good friend, and guess where she lives in?
Highly Decorated Bungalow.
Yeah, I get it: for someone to go overseas to study, one needs to have wealthy parents. But can’t there be just a slight hint that people in Singapore stay in pigeon holes, take public transport daily and drink kopi-O from a weird looking plastic carrier?
The way I see it, Crazy Rich Asians seems to be set in Orchard Road, and not Singapore. And the only road in Singapore is ECP (‘coz can see Singapore Flyer, yo!).
This is pretty bad, because one day, when I decided to do a “Hi, Intro pls” in mIRC, and when AhGirl97 knows that I’m from Singapore, she might think that I own a yacht or something.
Armed Guards with Bayonets
When Rachel and Peik Lin went to Nick’s house for the first time, they were stopped by guards who were apparently armed with “rifles” and “bayonets”.
Okay, I can’t vouch for this, but the security guards in our office are armed with walkie-talkies and cigarettes. How can anyone be armed, unless they’re protecting an installation or powerful figures (not rich, okay: it’s powerful)?
Please tell me it’s all just theatrics.
But honestly, they should really draw a line to their artistic licence for this, man.
Where are the other races?
Let’s face it: the title is a misrepresentation. It should be Crazy Rich Chinese, and not Crazy Rich Asians, because all I can see in the movie are Chinese (and Chinese songs).
I’m dying to see Nick Young drinking coffee with his NS buddy Ahmad, or Encik Singh coming to catch up with Nick. But none: Singapore seems to be in China.
Nick Speaks Mandarin Weirdly but Can Speak Malay Fluently
Okay, Henry Golding is a Malaysian and that’s understandable, but he’s playing Nick Young, a Singaporean who grows up in Singapore.
He should be like my colleague Leon: can speak Mandarin, but cannot speak Malay.
But Nick is the opposite: he orders laksa in Malay like a boss, and when he speaks Mandarin, there’s a weird accent that even Malaysian Chinese would cringe at.
Crazy Rich Asian don’t need serve NS and don’t speak Mandarin one meh?
And since we’re on the topic of language, here’s one that I promise has irked every Singaporean ever, even the rich ones.
WHERE THE HELL IS THE SINGLISH?!
Okay, if the movie wants to attract merely international viewers, they should just remove Singlish altogether, because according ang mos, Singlish is hard to comprehend one.
But why let Koh Chieng Mun, who plays Dolly in Under One Roof and speaks standard English, speaks Singlish, and the rest of the cast in American-accented Standard English?!
And Peik Lin has such a strong American accent that I have to think for six hours to accept that she actually lived in Singapore, went to the US to study and came back to Singapore.
I mean, Awkwafina did a great job portraying Peik Lin, but hey: even the name is so Singaporean. Why that accent?
This one, I really cannot tahan lah.
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Eating at Newton Hawker Centre
Pray tell me, you Singaporean saints: where do you go when you want to find the best hawker food?
Fengshan Hawker Cenre? Old Airport Road Food Centre? ABC Hawker Centre?
I can list a lot, but Newton Hawker Centre would not be my choice. I mean, why? Why would you do that?
It’s like going all the way to South Korea and having McDonald’s for every single meal.
The director has once mentioned that it’s due to the filming needs (understandable, since it’ll be a fight for the seats filming at Fengshan), but hey: having SATAY AND SAYING IT’S THE BEST THERE?
Guess they didn’t get the memo about how Singaporeans love their food, because everywhere I read, they’re complaining about the same thing.
Where’s HDB, SBS Transit and SMRT?
There’s no Singapore without HDB, SBS or even SMRT. Love or hate them, they’re part of our culture that keeps Singapore running.
I totally understand that rich people might not have even stepped into a train before, but can they can least do a panning shot of an MRT train? I mean, if it’s difficult to find one that hasn’t broken down, then perhaps do a panning shot of an HDB block?
Imagine a tourist coming to Singapore, and immediately turning to her husband and say, “Are we in the correct country? Why are there buses? Where’s the open-air jeep and the 5D trees?”
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