‘Crazy Rich Asians’: A Glimpse At Singapore’s Crazy Lifestyle | Review #2

If you’ve not heard of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ yet, I think you’re actually living in a cave because that’s basically impossible: this movie has been the “talk in town” for months now, but it actually has almost as much lovers as it has haters, which was to be expected. However, something else interested me in that story.


Crazy Rich Asians’: A Bit Of Background

This movie is based on Kevin Kwan’s bestseller book of the same name first of a trilogy followed ‘China Rich Girlfriend‘ and ‘Rich People Problems‘. Most of the story is set in Singapore, because the male main character has his whole family living there.

The Story. – You would believe a movie attracting so much attention has an interesting plot but actually it hasn’t. It’s your basic romantic movie plot, with a guy and a girl, loving each other, who’ve been together for a year. The guy takes the opportunity of having to go to his best friend’s wedding to ask his girlfriend to tag along and at the same time, meet his family.

She eventually meets the family, but doesn’t get along with the mother (what a shock!) because apparently, she’s not good enough for her son – so the mother-in-law gets in the way of her son’s relationship, breaking them apart. However, the girl makes a fight for it, and they end up together once more.

The Twists. – There are two twists added to that story:

  • the family is Chinese, and actually quite traditional;
  • and it is one of Singapore’s richest one, which is saying something knowing that Singapore gathers some of the richest people on Earth.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the story, even though it is basic because a story doesn’t have to be complicated to be entertaining, and I loved the film. I’ve even started reading the book, which is also quite good.

But of course, that same story has been a story ever since stories have been invented (story-ception?) and, well, in this particular case, it actually gets quite old.

Plus the fact that everything seems very superficial: the background stories, the  conversations, the character development, the shots… you can end up pretty bored if you don’t know what you’re getting in advance.

The trailer says it all:

So What’s The Fuss All About?

The Good Sides. – The film has mainly been the talk in town for one thing: its cast is ENTIRELY Asian. Which has (apparently) never occurred in a Hollywood production.

So Westerners get excited because it means mentalities are finally changing, and Easterners get excited because they see it as a new era.

Also, the film is actually quite funny as well, but for the first time in a big Hollywood production, in an Asian kind of way, meaning there are a lot of inside jokes for Asian people.

Goh Peik Lin character, talking to Rachel about how she thinks her mother-in-law sees her, taking into account Rachel is an Asian who’s always lived in the USA.

She just thinks you’re some like unrefined banana. Yellow on the outside, and white on the inside.”

The Bad Sides. – But not everyone likes it. The movie was expected to reach a climax point upon its release in China, but it’s been a true disaster.

Mainly about the fact that the outstanding majority of Chinese people are not rich at all, and such a display of Asia’s richest people lifestyle can in fact seem bitter to them, which I can understand.

Such a depiction of distorted reality of Asia goes in fact directly against their life (and spirit) principle of yin and yang, and rips apart the equilibrium and balance that is supposed to be one’s main goal in life.

If you’re interested in this topic, I suggest you go and read this article, that is actually quite well written: (amongst many, many others)

The Reasons Why You Should Go And See It

  1. It’s entertaining. Most of the characters are quite funny, though also quite cliche, but it’s not that annoying.
  2. It’s a great introduction to what life in Singapore’s life is like. At one point in the movie, you can see the characters go to a hawker center, a Singaporean food court, and have the best time eating some of the best food they ever tasted, which is really accurate. Some hawker stalls even have Michelin stars! / Every location the characters go to in town is also accurate, meaning that locals actually go there, and the love of BIG and BIGGER parties is also very true. So all in all, it’s 80% accurate.
  3. Michelle Yeoh plays in it. She plays the mother-in-law. Michelle Yeoh’s like the Asian Queen for me. I’ll never forget her part in ‘Memoirs of a Geisha‘. Unbelievably accurate acting.
  4. A very original Original Soundtrack. It was soooo funny to hear ‘Yellow’ (Coldplay) sung in Chinese, as well as a jazzy song in Chinese which I currently listen to all day (Sorry not sorry!).

Hope you enjoyed reading my blog post about ‘Crazy Rich Asians’! This blog post is the first movie review I write, but I always wanted to write reviews about movies, having always been quite a film-lover myself!

All in all, I must have seen about 300 movies in my life so far, and always have a HUUUUUGE list of must-watch I have to go through! (same as books really, my list always seems to expand by itself…)

In any case, if you liked to read me don’t forget to like this blog post and subscribe to my blog to know when I publish more content!

Thank you so much for reading,

And until next time,

Lilly

aka The French Hat

Advertisements

Are Lonely Planet® Guides Worth It? | Review #1

If you’re anything like me you cannot choose when you have too many choices to choose from. That’s exactly what I felt when I was looking for the perfect travel guides before my world tour. Here’s what I thought about Lonely Planet® ones!


For these reviews I’ve chosen 5 criteria (the MAPAR review :D), to which I can add bonus points if there are any:

  • Maps
  • Accuracy
  • Pictures
  • Advice quality
  • Readability

Of course those are completely subjective, and I will of course express my free opinion on each of them. If you disagree with me or think I’ve left something out, please leave me a comment!

Main criteria

Maps *****

20180902_123134.jpg
©Lonely Planet

There are lots of maps, and very good quality ones! Depending on the version of the guide you get, you can also have a detachable folded map, the size of a tourist one (if you get what I mean) with top sights and venues on it!

I’ve given 5 stars for Lonely Planet ones because they were all I could ever wish for in a travel guide: coloured, big enough, some of them very detailed, and most of all, I didn’t have to buy any more!

Advice Quality *****

20180902_123052.jpg
©Lonely Planet

All in all the advice throughout the guide was good, and dependent on any kind of reader. There are pieces of advice for everyone and anyone, from families with small kids, to young adults looking for fun and even for LGBTs in particular!

The downside was that sometimes, those were quite cliche, which discredited the whole thing. But when the advice was good, it was delightful to follow it!

Pictures *****

20180902_123453.jpg
©Lonely Planet

I think this picture speaks for itself: the images in Lonely Planet® guides are amazing.

Very high quality, very beautiful and inspirational, a good size even in small versions of the guides, they are all you could look for in a travel guide to help you figure out how the destination looks like, feels like, and to inspire you even before you’ve arrived to your destinations.

Accuracy *****

Throughout our month of travelling, in 2 different continents and 3 different countries, we sometimes only depended on the Lonely Planet® guides I’d purchased. And while most of the time we didn’t have any problems, we did have some disappointments here and there: hours of restaurants, venues or stores that didn’t match the real ones, places closed down for good or replaced with other ones when we arrived in front of them…

This happened one too many time for me not to mention it, although it is to be expected with printed travel guides, sometimes having been written months or even years before you get them in your hands!

Readability *****

20180902_123612.jpg
©Lonely Planet

Compared to other guides, let me tell you the Lonely Planet® ones are a delight to read! They’ve got colours, bullet points, logos, sections, big titles, boxed texts, highlights, and most of all, their normal paragraphs are a good size to read! You would think it is a given, but apparently not from what I’ve seen…

Therefore this is definitely a good point for Lonely Planet®.

20180902_191427.jpg
Normal double page, with a boxed text for highlight – ©Lonely Planet

Bonus Points

Special Pages

20180902_122757.jpg
©Lonely Planet

Even if the guides I’d chosen weren’t that big, they had a lot of content! Enough to have special pages and sections all throughout the book.

 

On the left: This Top Itineraries double page gives you advice on full-day itineraries you can follow as if you were with a professional travel guide all day long! I’ve tested some of them myself, and they were pretty good to allow you spending good days with plenty of things to see and do!

On the right: This section is by far one of my favorites! It allows you to really get an idea of how your destination and its inhabitants are like. There’s information on the place nowadays, its history, customs, architecture and even language!

Tone

What a delight when the travel guide you’re reading has a funny tone or inspire you to visit everything in the destination you’ve chosen? Well Lonely Planet guides combine those two characteristics!

Not only are they very inspirational, but their writers are sometimes particularly funny! I’ve found myself laughing quite a number of times while reading them, and it made it all the more enjoyable 🙂

Recap: The Best Guides Out There?

Top points:

  • Readability
  • Pictures
  • Maps

Low points:

  • Accuracy
  • Advice Quality

Bonus points:

  • Special pages
  • Tone

Well to say that I would need to review each edition of travel guides out there. But from what I can tell, they really were good travel companions through my whole month of travelling, and I’ve managed to read them cover to cover and still wanting more! I will for sure buy more Lonely Planet® guides for my next travels.

Signing off,

Lilly, aka The French Hat


Lonely Planet guides on which I based this article:

  • Singapore, 11th edition, Ria de Jong, ©Lonely Planet 2018
  • L’Essentiel de New York, 3e édition, Regis St Louis & Michael Grosberg ©Lonely Planet 2017 (translated from Best of New York City, 2nd edition)
  • San Francisco en quelques jours, 4e édition, Mariella Krause, Alison Bing & John A Vlahides, ©Lonely Planet 2017 (translated from Pocket San Francisco, 6th edition)
  • Tokyo en quelques jours, 6e édition, Rebecca Milner & Simon Richmond, ©Lonely Planet 2017 (translated from Pocket Tokyo, 6th edition)
  • Kyoto et Osaka en quelques jours, 1re édition, Kate Morgan & Rebecca Miller, ©Lonely Planet 2017 (translated from Pocket Tokyo & Osaka, 1st edition)