More to movie than cars, gems and designer wear

Mr Manoraj Rajathurai's criticism of Crazy Rich Asians glamorising wealth and conspicuous consumption seems unwarranted (Movie accentuates social divide, stereotypes; Aug 29).

While the author name-drops designer brands and luxury locations with gay abandon, this is hardly out of place in a novel meant as a lightweight summer satire rather than a serious social critique.

In fact, one key theme is that money cannot buy love or happiness. A character finds that her wealth has strained her marriage, while another finds it has tainted her relationship with her husband's family.

The book and movie hew to the time-honoured themes of love, family and friendship.

In true romcom style, our handsome hero resolves to marry a woman of humble origins, at the cost of being disinherited. His longstanding ties with his best friends are also celebrated.

The hype in Singapore over this film comes from our sense of wonder at seeing so many familiar faces, foods and locations on the silver screen.

And despite the parade of supercars, gigantic gems and designer dresses, the characters are familiar archetypes - "they" are "us".

Estella Young (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 01, 2018, with the headline 'More to movie than cars, gems and designer wear'. Print Edition | Subscribe