Saturday, October 22, 2005


On the surface, Crash is an in-your-face look at racism in the United States since the film is built solely on the tension that arises when people from different races encounter each other in a variety of situations. But it also digs deeper than that. It tries to show us that there is no clear black or white when it comes to racism. Its all gray.

Like most ensemble films, Crash doesn't seem to have a set story with defined boundaries. It is set in Los Angeles, a city that is truly a melting pot of all cultures and starts off trailing the lives of a seemingly unconnected group of people from different races and different walks of life. But over the span of two days, it shows us how their lives crisscross each other's. There is a sense of unpredictability almost throughout the movie and there are scenes that bring us to the edge of our seats because of this sense of "anything could happen". The links between some of the characters happen as the movie proceeds. But as some tangential links are revealed towards the end, I couldn't help but applaud the movie's screenplay.

Crash uses a diverse set of people to capture all the nuances of racism in the US. All these people are guilty of being racist but not quite in the same way. We see some who express it overtly and others in whom it is dormant but rears its ugly head when in a crunch situation. We see people who stereotype others and people who stereotype themselves. And we see people for whom money or power matter much more than race.

Crash forces us to ask some uncomfortable questions about our attitude towards people of other races. Many times in the film I found myself nodding at something said about a particular race before realizing that that kind of stereotyping was why many of the characters in the film are not likable. But the film doesn't provide any easy answers either. Just as it has characters who break the stereotype, it has characters who fit it(resulting in some rather tragic consequences) too.

The film is quite brazen considering the sensitive topic it has dealt with. It has no qualms touching upon a Chinese woman's difficulty in pronouncing the letter 'r' or commenting on the tendency of Mexicans to park their cars on their lawns. At the same time, it is also bitingly funny at a few places(almost all of them during the conversations between two black youth).


At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with you regarding the screenplay with this thin line story, but expected more plot for
my bucks.

At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i will resume commenting after a few Asin_Mania is at its peak now...cant think of anything else...:)

At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ram said...

"my Asin_Mania is at its peak now"

I take it Aishoo_Mania is on vacation then :)

Yeah, I watched Crash on the big screen and rather liked it. I thought the background score was pretty good too.

At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gopi sir,
aishoo mania is never on vacation..."irandu paerukkum idam irukkirathu" (Kamal in Kadhala Kadhala!)

At 8:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For some reason, this movie reminded me of 'Traffic'. Probably the narrative style.

I found a few aspects jarring, but overall, a very good movie. Not sure if it deserves its current IMDB rating though.

At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stereotyping people from a certain community, caste, race, religion - Now that's something that our Bollywood, Kollywood & Tollywood movies have been doing since ages, right?

Onna renda? yennatha solla?

At 10:39 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

anon, this was one of the movies where there was no real plot. but thats true of most ensemble movies. didn't bother me too much since i was quite involved in it throughout anyway.

prakash, havent checked the imdb rating. but i remember IBH rated it one of her top 10 from 1990-2005.

mav, know exactly what u're talking about...

At 10:24 PM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...

I just finished watching this movie... I'm all bug eyed and in "WHOA" mode. At many instances it had me in tears... there were 3 places that had me big time... The thing with Ryan Phillipe was so unexpectedly cuz he was the last person I thought would do something like that. That was an awesome movie. I particularly liked how the other cop ended up helping that one lady, and the one with the Hispanic guy and his daughter. There were places that I wanted to smack the people, but at the end... I felt sorry for most of them.

Sandra Bullock's & Brendan Fraser's was probably the most boring part... Although Fraser did look hot... *wink wink*



Post a Comment

<< Home