The movie Crash (2004) raises multiple essential topics, and some of the described issues are still acute in society. All of them are connected with interpersonal relations, which form the basis of human existence. These include political correctness, ethics, the ability to forgive, trust, and other aspects of human relationships. In particular, the movie Crash describes one of the fundamental issues that divide modern American society: stereotypes. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how the director reveals this topic and to consider other key aspects of the film.
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One of the most critical issues raised in the movie Crash is the vast amount of difficulties of coexistence in a vast multinational country. This film is about how complicated it is for people of entirely different cultures and education to correctly understand each other. In addition, the director clearly shows the audience the tragic consequences of this misunderstanding. In Crash, none of the characters is an unambiguous villain or hero in the cinematic sense of these terms. Almost every one of them is an ordinary person with all their shortcomings and advantages.
For example, the hysterical Iranian is repulsive; however, viewers understand that this is just an unhappy person, who has suffered from circumstances and other people. The fitter with tattoos, looking like an outspoken bandit, turns out to be a quiet and peaceful family man who adores his daughter. The racist policeman has particular reasons to feel like an oppressed white race compared to blacks. Nevertheless, at some point, he manifests himself as a real hero, capable of mortal risk for the sake of saving a black woman. However, he just saves a human being, and at that moment, he does not care about the skin color. The young policeman, who was outraged by the actions of his racist partner, at some point rescues the black television producer from certain death. On the same day, he kills a black man for an insignificant reason; this is another example of the complexity of mutual understanding. Thus, there are almost no right and guilty in the film. The director simply describes the situations in which people fall, or rather, the situations that they create for themselves.
A couple of young blacks are shown from an interesting perspective: one of them all the time talks about how the evil whites oppress him. Then they commit armed robbery and knocks down a Chinese man. One of these men keeps wondering why whites are afraid of them, and cannot find an answer to this question. At the same time, he has clear moral principles: it is possible to steal from white people, but should always stay untouched. According to his beliefs, black people are robbed only by someone who is afraid to steal from white. Despite that, at some point he will rob a black person as well since his moral principles are not too stable.
It is worth noting that the film is set professionally. Despite a large number of characters and storylines, it is hard to get confused. The action develops systematically and quite logically, one line flows into another. A part of the storylines comes to its logical conclusion long before the finale, the other part remains incomplete, and this all has a precise meaning. Eventually, the key event occurs: it is the murder of a black man, and a significant part of the film’s characters is connected with this murder.
The movie Crash is a completely independent work, and Paul Haggis, who is better known as a screenwriter than a director, has performed there in several guises. He became a director, a producer, a screenwriter, and a composer of the film. This indicates that Haggis worked on it from different angles and put effort into making it complete. Such an approach helped him convey his point of view to the viewer and depict in detail everything that he considered necessary using various tools. It is one of the movies “that follow diverse characters in largely separate, tangentially connected narrative threads” (Lehman and Luhr 128). Thus, even though this connection is not always clearly seen, it helps viewers create a complete impression of the movie and its theme.
The film Crash is vital and relevant, even though it was shot more than 15 years ago. Each character is a full-fledged participant in the action and brings the spectator a particular point of view or idea. In the film, accents on such problematic issues as political correctness and the coexistence of people of entirely different cultures are incredibly accurate. Each of these people has their own stereotypes, and, as the plot shows, conflicts often arise between them on this basis. However, these issues are decidable since they have no solid argument. The raised topic is important at present as well, since the foundations associated with, for instance, racist or sexist views of the past are not relevant now. Therefore, people have multiple opportunities to reconsider their opinions and change their worldview. This is not always easy, but it is the key to a safe and cohesive society.
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Lehman, Peter, and William Luhr. Thinking about Motives: Watching, Questioning, Enjoying. John Wiley & Sons, 2018.