‘Boogie’ is more than an inspirational immigration story

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In his book ‘Happily Ever After’, Charles de Lint said, ” We are so quick to cut away pieces of ourselves to suit a particular relationship, a job, a circle of friends, incessantly editing who we are until we fit in.”
In Eddie Huang’s directorial debut ‘Boogie’ we come across a  protagonist who is neck-deep in a situation where he is struggling to find a balance between his dream, career, identity, romance, and parental expectations.

Alfred Boogie Chin, the protagonist, is a familiar face to the audience. He represents every underdog in almost all the sports movies, has the same ambitions of winning big over his nemesis, getting a scholarship, going to college… The same old story!
 But Eddie Huang, who is known for his works like Fresh Off the Boat, tried to say it from a new perspective. He told the story of the underdog from a first-generation Asian American’s perspective.

Boogie is a laid-back gay whose biggest dream is to be an NBA player. Even though his father is super supportive, never lets him forget the reality that an Asian American like him has a next to nothing chance of getting into the NBA. As he is stressing himself out to be a pro, he also has to face his mother, who keeps reminding him he would never be able to break the wall of stereotypes built by the white majority of the country. While his parents try to keep him in touch with his roots, Boogie follows his path and is mostly in love with African American culture. And this cultural contradiction shadows throughout the teenager’s life and career choice.

Though Boogie’s sports dreams are a big part of this movie, Eddie Huang discusses the major challenges the Asian-American youth has to face. An Asian-American has never fit well in American society since they are seen as outcasts most of the time. He is in a never-ending fight with society for a place that he deserves. While figuring out his own space, he also has to act as an avatar for his parents’ dreams, whose acts of rage he has to endure every time he disappoints them. Through Boogie, Huang is exploring the double life these kids have to live and how they find it hard to balance the expectations. 

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