Crash: The Little Engine That Could

Director Paul Haggis

Crash just won Best Picture. Finally, a surprise at the Oscars. My full recap will be posted tomorrow.

UPDATE: You can read my recap here. Enjoy!

Review: Crash (2005)

Crash was released in May to critical acclaim, little moviegoers, and much outrage.

The film deals honestly and openly with the issues people are afraid to discuss in fear of being offensive. Crash deals directly with race relations in the United States, which even in today’s society can be an unmentionable topic.

The film is set in Los Angeles over a three-day period. The characters are loosely linked through a series of events that reshapes their minds and lives in some way. Every stereotype possible is explored, if not mentioned constantly during this film.

The characters include: the District Attorney and his wife (Brendan Fraser and Sandra Bullock), homicide detectives (Don Cheadle and Jennifer Esposito), the television director and his wife (Terrence Howard and Thandie Newton), the veteran and obviously bigoted cop (Matt Dillon), the rookie and naive cop (Ryan Phillipe), the Persian shop owner and his wise daughter (Shaun Toub and Bahar Soomekh), the Hispanic locksmith and his 5 year-old daughter (Michael Pena and Ashlyn Sanchez), and two car jackers who want lives off of the streets (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Larenz Tate), and the Asian driver (Greg Joung Paik). In this ensemble cast each character is important, no matter how large or small their role may be.

The film often jumps from scene to scene too quickly, but that is not as important as what the characters present. For instance, the rookie cop tries to see good in everyone. But, the veteran police officer warns him that over time his dormant beliefs will come out and he too will start treating people, not as individuals but by the stereotypes their ethnicity implies.

If anything Crash showcases what people are afraid to talk about. It shows that every human is capable of stereotyping but also that every human is capable of acceptance and understanding.
The Sandra Bullock character discovers that after an accident her only true friend is her Hispanic housekeeper who she often treated with disrespect.

This is a very powerful film and deserves to be seen because most importantly, it makes you think. Think about where we’ve come from as a country and where we will be in twenty tears. And especially if in 20 years this country will need a major motion picture to deal directly with what the government and everyday Americans choose to ignore.