Come tomorrow, the premiere of Hollywood movie “Crazy Rich Asians” will thrust Singapore into the world’s eye. Good lah, finally another good attempt to tell the people out there that we are not part of China!
Ahead of the show hitting the big screens, already some people are critiquing the book and the show (eh, how come they get to watch the show first??!!!) and saying it’s not representative of Singapore. Yah, The Online Citizen claims that elderly Singaporeans all collecting cardboards (tonight I must tell my Ah Ma that she’s very heng she’s at home relaxing and watching Korean dramas everyday because we all give her pocket money).
And then there’s Kirsten Han who said the show does nothing for racial representation and diversity. Aiyah, people tout “first all Asian cast”, then we still need to find fault say who no Malay, Indian and Others? Really very Singaporean style – never satisfied!
But we got to agree with her that because the plot is all about these sibei rich people, we, the average people who take MRTs and live in HDB flats don’t recognise it lah!
You and I know what the real Singapore looks like, and I must admit, I would like to aspire to get one foot in on that glitzy upper-class lifestyle. But too bad lah, my Ah Gong didn’t strike gold after they sailed to Singapore from China. What to do?
But do we really have to have so many hang-ups? After all, it is a MOVIE. Movies need to sell tickets, otherwise the filmmakers go bankrupt. So the makers are pandering to their audience in the west who have all these funny ideas in their heads about what Asian culture and Asia is. You think they will be interested in cardboard collectors or us everyday sardines on the train meh? Or film a one-hour traffic jam on the the CTE? Fall asleep in the cinema, I tell you!
Movies exaggerate or distort reality. The glitz and the glitters of Singapore (and actually some parts of Malaysia) are highlighted while other more real parts of Singapore will be omitted. Bo pian right? This is a 2 hour movie, how much you want to cramp in leh?
If we go along the “must show real side of Singapore argument”, then “Sex in the City” shouldn’t have just showed the glitz and glamours of New York. They should have showed the soup kitchens, the druggies and the dodgy corners of New York. And how finding someone like Mr Big is probably 1 in a billion chance. Yah right.
And then we want racial representation. If we want to force it, then Henry Golding’s character Nick better be half Chinese, quarter-Malay and quarter-Indian, and Chu should be maybe Pan-Asian. And the cuisine at home will be a chapalang of rojak, Nasi Padang and Char Kway Teows, or maybe Teochew Porridge. Wah lao, sibei complicated like that.
By the way, James Bond’s 007 also white person. Did you ever see a person of colour as a protagonist in James Bond? Don’t have right? and no one called it racist. Also, before the Black Panther, Marvel never had a non-white superhero. #justsaying
It’s a movie for God’s sake, so let’s not take get our blood pressure up about whether this is showing the reality in Singapore or whether it is truly representative or not. Just enjoy the movie for what it is – rich people also got politics, also got struggles, also got feelings one.
And remember that end of the day, this is just another script that caters to what Hollywood audience wants, so that they can make box office records lor.
Don’t think too much.
Not happy? Ownself go make a blockbuster Hollywood movie on Singapore’s poor people lor. We will also standby our popcorn for that.