Crazy Rich Asians – Beyond the Brand Singapore!
This week, Crazy Rich Asians makes history as the first major Hollywood movie with an all-Asian cast since 1993’s The Joy Luck Club. The film is based on the best-selling novel by Singapore-born author Kevin Kwan. The story follows Asian-American Rachel Chu as she heads to her boyfriend Nick’s hometown of Singapore for a friend’s wedding, only to find out his family is one of the wealthiest on the entire continent.
Singapore plays its own part in the movie. “I was fascinated by this idea of the city of the future, with its mix of nature and modern buildings, that at the same time has this tropical colonial style about it,” says the movie’s director Jon M. Chu. “The island is just such a mishmash of commerce, of cultures, of food, of fashion. I wanted to show that both visually and through the characters.”
And to be fair, the tour of the island was thorough: we counted at least four Merlion shots and many scenes were shot at major recognisable spots like the infinity pool of Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay.
For insiders, the ultra-exclusive world featured in both book and movie is as real as the Lion City’s stunning scenery. Yet while many of Asia’s super rich call the city-state their home, it is not uncommon to spot tycoons and captains of industry catching the bus or queuing for a $3.50 plate of chicken rice.
So when you visit, don’t make the mistake of spending all your time along Marina Bay! You don’t have to be crazy rich to eat crazy well in Singapore. The hawker food stall scene from the movie was filmed at Newton Food Centre – just one of more than a hundred similar street food centers where you can choose from dozens of vendors at each location, each specialising in just a single type of delectable food.
From neighbourhoods such as Katong that retain Peranakan culture (Straits-born Chinese) to the The Projector, a cinema full of old-school charm where you can catch independent films, the Be app will show you which stones to overturn for a truly authentic Singaporean experience.
The movie Crazy Rich Asians has helped to increase awareness of Singapore as a destination and has shone a light on the lifestyles of the rich in Singapore. But don’t stop at finding out what else you can do when you visit the little red dot. (Download the Be app to experience a Singapore beyond the stereotypes portrayed in the movie!)
Singapore will defy your expectations: it is much more than the sum of its numerous attractions. When you’re here, you’ll realise that it has so much more to offer than just glitz and glam.