They say that directing a feature is just an accumulation of knowledge to use on your next project. Well, for Jon M. Chu, that seems to ring true. His 2018 blockbuster, Crazy Rich Asians, was a massive success.
While there was unfair pressure on him to represent all of Asia, Chu rose to the occasion and made a hilarious romantic comedy that did a great job taking the novel and adapting it to the screen.
Recently, the movie has come under scrutiny for the way it treats some South Asian cultures and characters. Chu has responded to the criticism, telling Insider he wished he had made the characters "more human."
The main issue that comes up is that these South Asian people really only show up in the movie as guards or servants in subservient roles.
Chu explained, "That's a lesson that I did not understand until it happened. I was like, this is a book that exists, and I'm making this book into a movie. I can't add a new character into this book."
But after making the movie, Chu rethought that out, knowing he could have expanded those characters more. One scene, in particular, involves the characters of Rachel and Peik Lin lost on their way to a party when they run into a wall of guards. These guards circle their car and scare them.
"Looking back, I should have had a joke there [for the guards] being like, 'These idiots,'" Chu said. "There's stuff to do to make them more human instead of just, like, these guards."
These are really interesting thoughts and show a general idea of what we may get in a sequel to the movie. But there is a lot of pressure on one person to get every culture on screen and developed. That cannot be the standard.
Hollywood needs to make more movies where these diverse cultures are at the center and have their own stories on the big screen. As Chu continued to tell Insider, "Listen, we need to have more movies, you need to have more filmmakers so that it doesn't rest on one movie."
We'll see if Hollywood gets the message.
Let us know what you think in the comments.