Review: “Crash”

This is the most difficult review I’ve ever written simply because the
subject matter of “Crash” is so volatile that even the audience I
screened it with was on edge through the entire film. Writer/director Paul
Haggis wraps the audience in an unflinching world of racial tensions
run rampant.

When the movie opens with a literal crash, of cars, the twisted metal
is only part of the equation as the characters reveal the underlying
ethnic tension that infests this version of LA. The interconnecting
characters and stories of the multiracial cast allows the audience to see
the darkest sides of what people really think when they’re with “their
own kind”. The non-linear storytelling allows events to impact
the “present” and the “future” simultaneously .

Take the story of Cameron and Christine (Terrence Howard and Thandie Newton) an


African-American couple happily driving home from an awards dinner when
they’re pulled over by two white police officers (Matt Dillon and Ryan
Phillippe). After a humiliating racial-profiling fueled traffic
stop, life intertwines the foursome in a deeply disturbing way.

The honesty of this film is what’s so powerful. The basest feelings
buried in all of us are laid bare for all the world to see. And this
all-star cast demonstrates a ridiculous amount of bravery in even
taking these roles where they do not look their best and the things that
they say…at times darkly funny and at times jaw-droppingly cruel but
all ringing with an honesty that no one is really brave enough to

Stereotypes are everywhere and whether we admit it or not, we all hold
certain ones in ourselves. Do we necessarily believe them? No, but when
we see events that reinforce these beliefs a dark part of our soul
feels vindicated. Is that right or “fair”? The PC answer is no to both
counts but in reality, in private, when no one is looking maybe we are
nodding yes to ourselves. I suspect most will see a little part of
themselves in one or more of the characters in this film, and it’s not
a part that you’re particularly proud of. A


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