When I first heard about Crash, I thought it was a movie about cars, thanks to the title. A few months ago, we had plans to watch it one evening on DVD but something transpired and we landed up gazing at the stars instead! I’m quite glad I didn’t see it then actually. Because I’m still a sucker for larger than life on screen action.
The expectations were obviously high after its Oscar win. And I must say, I wasn’t disappointed at all. The story and screenplay were better than anything I’ve seen in a while.
The story comprises of characters of diverse racial backgrounds cross paths and â€˜crash’ into one another, and the outcome of all these interactions is what is portrayed with great finesse by the director and writer Paul Haggis. The characters are real, the situations are real and all laced with both humour and irony.
The frustrations and travails of everyday life are manifested as racist attitudes, and yet when you scratch deeper, it’s much more than that. Everyday life and the blows it deals to people take its toll. These people who then go out into the streets and need someone else to take it out on. It portrays how race comes into the way of interactions and prevents people from seeing the actual person in front of them. Sandra Bullock for example, thinks the man fixing her lock is a part of a gang who will sell duplicates of the keys, and is especially rude with her Asian househelp. â€œI’m angry all time. I wake up in the morning and I’m feeling angry,â€ she confessed to a friend. In the end though, it’s the help who comes to Bullock’s aide when she has a nasty fall.
There are many other characters including:
– An old Persian shopkeeper who loses everything because of his stubborn attitude
– A young Mexican man who just wants to keep his daughter safe
– A woman (Sandra Bullock) who just wants her politician husband’s attention
– A black woman (Thandie Newton) who feels betrayed because her husband (Terence Howard) couldn’t utter a word while a cop conducted a body search
– A cop (Don Cheadle) who does everything and is still not appreciated by who he cares most about : his mother
– Another frustrated and racist cop (Matt Dillon) who lives with an old ailing father
The whole story is put together with the help of several sub-plots and to the director’s credit, he keeps firm control not letting anyone of them get out of hand. Instead, they all intersect beautifully, creating a story that is difficult to ignore.
You can’t help but feel for Matt Dillon’s character, for Thandie Newton’s humiliation and her husband’s quiet anger. Or Don Cheadle’s helplessness as the cop who tries everything to make his mother happy and yet fails. Her younger thieving son will also be the apple of her eyes. Haven’t we all come across such situations and such characters?
Paul Haggis comes up with an amazing script. Not only do you laugh with the characters, you feel what they’re going through. You get involved with the characters right from the beginning though you have no idea where they’re going next or what they’re going to do!
I absolutely loved the way the characters lives interspersed and the story comes full circle. A satisfying and most well made film. I haven’t seen Brokeback Mountain yet, but this one is definitely worth the nomination it received!