"Crazy Rich Asians" a movie that I did not want to watch at first because I was not interested in knowing how some Asians are living such a rich life and I'm just living a normal life. However, after watching the movie, my impression completely changed.
I want to share a few things I learned from this movie. Spoilt Alert! Come back to this blog after you watch the movie.
1. Be confident even others look down on you
When there is a situation like this that the female main character is looked down by the male main character's family, what she will usually do is running away, and the guy will be chasing her and saving her from the evil family.
When Rachel faced the same situation in this movie, She confidently presented herself at the wedding even with the harshest comment from Nick's mom Eleanor. She spoke to the woman in power (the woman who sat at the front row by herself), and she bought herself up to a powerful role that twisted the view of Nick's family. Nick did not interfere in this scene with his present, and Rachel dealt with it all by herself.
Later the family tried to kick Rachel out again due to her family background. Rachel finally could not put it together and we see a resembled scene of Cinderella with the prince chasing behind her. After a few days, when Nick proposed, the movie could have ended here with Rachel running away with Nick and the evil family (happy ever after), but again, she didn't. She rejected the first proposal and faced Eleanor again with confidence and debate on their situation, left Eleanor with an easy choice: accept.
I find this applicable to our everyday life; when we hear criticisms in our work, from our family, do we choose to quit and never see them again OR do we show a better version of ourselves to change their opinion.
2. Accepting another culture's tradition
The movie has many references for the Chinese culture, for example, the grandma observed Rachel's face carefully and commented that she has a lucky face structure, and the family made dumplings together. For many Americans, it's probably the first time getting to know these cultural references.
The movie described vividly about the difference between individualism and collectivism between the American culture and the Chinese culture. The American value is following your dream and passion no matter what others think. Majority of American billionaires are self-made, and the American society influence people to think that as long as you follow what you love, you have a possibility of success. The Chinese society is getting more westernized nowadays with all these new giants arising in China (Alibaba, Wechat), but many Chinese are still very traditional and believe the family value over the passion of an individual.
One of the reasons is Chinese thousands of years of history. The wealthy believe that their bloodlines should be maintained wealthy, and do not support the merger between themselves and someone with no such bloodline, because that would ruin the thousands of years of family composition. However, America is an immigrant country, people are from all backgrounds, so when people get married, the family cares more about the couple's love for each other rather than the partner's family background.
Eleanor has been denying the American culture at the beginning of the movie. With Rachel's respect for the traditional Chinese culture, Eleanor starts to understand and open her mind toward accepting the American culture as well. When two cultures are not communicating well, show respect for other people's culture, before criticizing others for not respecting yours. Sooner or later, you will find out they will see it differently.
3. Play to "win" not to "not lose"
The Play to win concept was bought up at the beginning of the movie at a poker game in Rachel's class, and this concept is touched throughout the entire movie. The movie called back the concept and highlighted it in the Majong scene (another table game) at the end. Rachel bought up the fact that Eleanor is putting Nick in a Lose-Lose situation; no matter what Nick choose, he will not win, so Rachel decided to leave and give him a possibility to win later in life.
"Play to not Lose" also means Playing safe, which is what most people tend to get into in life because play to win is too risky. To win, you need to double down like what Rachel did at the beginning of the movie. She doubled down with a bad hand to bet that the opponent would give up; she risked to lose everything if the opponent chose to continue the game. Rachel played the same game again at the end when she took a risk of losing Nick for her life (aka, double down), but she won the bet, again.
Of course, we all know that double down doesn't always work in the real world, that's why we give up on doubling down after we got all our stakes taken away a few times, but if we never do again, will we ever win?
4. Think beyond your own happiness
Eleanor claimed that Americans only cares about their own happiness, which is the stereotypical Americans known from the east. Continue the point from Rachel and Eleanor's conversation at the Mahjong table, what Rachel wants to prove was more than the play to win theory, it's also that she thinks for others happiness unlike what Eleanor believes. Rachel wants Eleanor to believe that if Eleanor does not change her point of view and Nick is happy in the future, is because Rachel made the sacrifice instead of locking him in her own arms. Rachel proves to Eleanor that she is thinking beyond her own happiness and Eleanor should do that too. It's clear that Eleanor's acceptance of Rachel has something to do with her self-reflection on the concept that she bought up by herself.
Sidenote, I watched an interesting Youtube video earlier today, it talked about the reason why you feel sad and hurt when you see the person you love being happy with someone else is because you think you should be the only one that makes the person you love happy, the emotion she/he feels should always come from you. But if we truly love the person, shouldn't their happiness makes us happy too? shouldn't we think for a greater scale of happiness?
This movie is really better than I thought and I can't wait for the second and the third movies to come out so that I can share with you guys again.
The soundtrack is also amazing, I'm listening to it over and over again.