Crazy Rich Orientals
|Crazy Rich Orientals
Crazy Rich Orientals is a 2018 Orinese romantic comedy-drama film directed by Yonei Michu. The film explores the themes of wealth, identity, and mental health among affluent Oriental societies, presenting a rare portrayal of Oriental culture and identity in the Orlywood film industry. It was considered one of the biggest romantic comedies of that year, with a trailblazing narrative that delves into the lives of its eccentrically affluent characters.
The film follows Madegi Chama, an economics professor from the Sirius Business School, portrayed by actress Amineti Wiye. Madegi travels to Zuidhaven to meet her boyfriend's family and stumbles upon their well-kept secret – they're one of the wealthiest families in Orioni, with a long history of mental illness. Her boyfriend, Kuno Wetati, played by Misheli Joyi, is initially reluctant to discuss his family's history of mental health issues. However, as the story unfolds, Madegi and the audience learn to understand the intricate relationship between wealth, Oriental identity, and mental health. Madegi's journey helps Kuno embrace his unique heritage, repositioning it as a source of pride rather than a point of shame.
Crazy Rich Orientals features an all-Oriental ensemble cast, a rare occurrence in major studio productions. The cast includes actors from Miiros, !Kipan, Ide Jima, !Koku, the Sunset Sea Islands, !Selayar and Giokto, along with Orioni, where the film was shot.
- Amineti Wiye as Madegi Chama, a Sirius Business School economics professor who discovers her boyfriend's family's wealth and their history of mental health issues. Through her journey, she aids her boyfriend in acknowledging and embracing his family's unique heritage.
- Buni Weriki as Kuno Wetati, Madegi's boyfriend who belongs to one of the wealthiest families in the Empire. Initially evasive about his family's wealth and mental health issues, Kuno, through Madegi's influence, learns to take pride in his unique Oriental background.
- Misheli Joyi as Liyoni Wetati, Kuno's mother, who suffers from a paranoid personality disorder. Her mistrust of Madegi and her repeated attempts to sabotage her son's relationship with Madegi add depth to her character and the narrative.
- Wiha Tiru as Yima Wetati, the younger brother of Kuno. Yima also shares the family's wealth and history of mental health. Weriki offers a fresh and compelling portrayal of a character grappling with the complexities of wealth, identity, and mental health in the context of the Oriental community.
The film was directed by Yonei Michu, a filmmaker of Miirosi origin who was raised in Ide Jima. It features the extravagant lifestyles of the Oriental elite, their grand parties, and their unique cultural identity, as well as the beauty of Zuidhaven, with its modern and traditional architecture, parks, tropical beaches, street food and music. It also includes iconic Oriental scenes, such as a Mahjong game and a dumpling-making scene.
Crazy Rich Orientals has been praised for its portrayal of the Oriental community and its exploration of the intersection between wealth and mental health, with critics appreciating its frank depiction of the affluent, eccentrically Oriental characters. The film has also been noted for its universal themes of love, family, and acceptance. Its title reappropriates the once derogatory term “crazy rich Orientals”, spinning it into a symbol of strength and solidarity.
The film's refreshing narrative, combined with a culturally diverse cast and its success in addressing stigmatised topics such as mental health, makes it a pioneering film in the Orlywood film industry. It has been deemed a “rare film that is culturally specific, yet for the world” by actor Keni Wetati, highlighting its appeal to audiences wurldwide.
In recognition of its pioneering narrative and cultural significance, Crazy Rich Orientals was awarded Best Picture at the Andro Film Festival in 2023. This accolade further solidified its status as a significant contribution to Orlywood film industry and proof of its worldwide appeal.
- Big Story News, Crazy, crazier, crazioni? (28 September 2018)
- Roiters News, Box Office: 'Crazy Rich Orientals' is the biggest rom-com in years (26 September 2018)