Saturday, July 09, 2005


I could only preview one movie today, Crash or Sin City. Both offered a huge cast and promising material, and boy, did I not regret watching this first instead!

Crash explores racial bigotry and racial stereotypes, and is the equivalent of what Traffic did on the exploration of drugs. Given the strong ensemble cast and character actors like Don Cheadle, Brendan Fraser, Matt Dillon, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe and Sandra Bullock et al, this movie contains many subplots skillfully juxtaposed into one narrative by director/writer Paul Haggis.

We start off with an apparent random murder in a deserted part of Los Angeles, and from the start, racial disharmony rears its ugly head, and does so throughout. Whether be it White-Black, Black-Asian, White-Asian, White-Hispanic, Black-Hispanic, Hispanic-Arab, its off the cuff comments made by characters are starkly honest and probably expresses deeply rooted, prejudiced human emotions, and our preconceived notions of others, like if you're tattooed, you belong to a gang, if you're white and rich, you'll get mobbed by the black folks.

We're brought back 24 hours prior to the discovery of the body, and this is where the tight narrative takes control in managing different subplots, yet keeping the audience thoroughly engaged with each. You have a white couple experiencing a carjack, 2 black boys in the hood (one of them played by Ludacris) and their adventures, 2 LAPD detectives who have more than a working relationship, the story of 2 beat officers on opposite sides of a situation, a couple and their misadventure with the beat officers, a locksmith and his daughter amidst a gritty, harsh environment, and an Arab family. Relationships between characters are also key, as they provide a probable insight into the motivations of each character.

Told in 2 acts, the first sets up the premise and explores a little of the current situation each character encounters, and touches a bit on their backstory. In the second act, this is where the amalgam and intersection of their lives come into play. And this really brings to light what six degrees of separation really mean.

I'll stick my neck out and state that the narrative has NO flaws! Awesome! The twists come so fast, you're still in awe when you're exposed to the next revelation, and the next, until we come full circle. None of the characters are who they really are, as the narrative goes on, you start to wonder, if Mr Good Guy is really that Good, and if Mr Bad Guy is really that Bad. All characters have closet skeletons, even the minor ones, be it whether exposing their true characters through conversations, or actions, or leaving it to the audience to judge for themselves.

It's amazing how the depth of each character, and for so many of them, are touched upon in the same movie. At some point, you hate someone for their prejudiced views or actions, and yet at another point, you pity the same person based upon the situation they're in. Or you might think that perhaps someone has demonstrated moderate thinking, but you'll be surprised still at the same person's subconscious harbouring of stereotypes. Most characters are shady, and this shadiness of character is present, be it if your social status or skin colour. All the actors did a commendable job in fleshing the multi-faceted roles they each play.

The soundtrack contains an excellent selection of songs, but my favourite has to be "Maybe Tomorrow" by Stereophonics, played during the ending. Arnold Schwarzeneggar also had an appearance, on a photograph as the Governor of California, which I felt was a nice contemporary touch.

This is highly recommended, please do not miss this, as it goes into my records as a possible contender for Movie of the Year, with its excellent foray into exploring human emotions.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...