March 31, 2010
Darvay 1213 – 012
The movie Crash tells the interlocking stories of different races, ethnicities, the rich and the poor, and the powerful and the powerless. All of the characters are in one way or another defined by each other and defined by racism. They are all victims of it, and they are all also guilty of it. One recurring theme is that the characters racial assumptions prevent them from seeing the actual person standing before them, and in most cases, they are wrong. Crash is an excellent movie because of how real and intense it is when it comes to portraying real life examples of racism. It explores topics that most people are scared to think about or watch. People do not want to see the harsh parts of reality. This movie makes people face their demons, like their own personal experiences with racism, because I guarantee everyone related to at least one of these characters in one way or another.
This movie plays a much bigger role than just entertainment. It touches on topics that are not necessarily politically correct and it definitely depicts subject matter that makes most people uncomfortable. Crash is one of those movies that pushes boundaries, but it also opens the audiences??™ eyes to real problems in society, and it shows real issues that a lot of people are not aware of. ???The Oscar-winning best picture – widely heralded, especially by white liberals, for advancing an honest discussion of race in the United States – is, in fact, a setback in the crucial project of forcing white America to come to terms with the reality of race and racism, white supremacy and white privilege??? (Jensen and Wosnizter). It makes you aware of real problems, and the scary part is: everything that was shown in the movie can, and probably does, happen in real life. This movie successfully sends a huge message about racism and stereotypes.
Everyone is guilty of racism. It may not be as exaggerated as it was in the movie, and we may not act on it like they did in the movie, but we all experience it. Feeling a sense of racism is accepted, although I do not feel like it should be. There were a number of instances in the movie where the characters strayed in the complete opposite direction from their set stereotype. The character that stands out to me the most was the Mexican locksmith, Daniel. When he is changing the locks Jean sees??™ him and automatically wants the locks changed again in the morning because she thinks that he is going to sell the key??™s to his friends. In reality, Daniel is probably the best character in the movie. He is an excellent father who is trying to give his daughter a better life, and he is going about it very honorably. This movie definitely made me question my own set stereotypes. I am sure if put to the test, they would be proved wrong. I think that hooks??™ essays relate to this very well. hooks??™ concept of the commodification of blacks is a good example. Anthony is the first character that comes to mind when I think of that. He talks about how it is not fair that blacks get stereotyped and how they should be treated like everyone else, then he turns around a minute later and steals a car at gunpoint. It just proves that some of them want to be ???down??? (147). Officer Ryan is another character that has a lot of controversy surrounding him. In Smith??™s article, he talks about how he should be forgiven because of things that have happened in his past. I think that this argument could be one of the most debated opinions in the whole movie.
The plot of Crash is so complex and the lives of all of the characters are so intertwined with each other that it is a little confusing at first. Looking back though, or watching it again, makes you realize what a genius the screenwriter was. It all fits together so perfectly and it gets the point across flawlessly. Every one of the characters has a connection to all of the other characters. They are constantly crossing each others paths, and for the most part, do not know it. There are definitely twists every five minutes. There was not one scene that bored me in the least. I think that this movie is not for the easily offended. It is a rough movie, and some of the scenes are extremely difficult to watch, but overall it is so powerful that it is worth it. I do not believe that it would have been as realistic if it had been set in any city but Los Angeles. I feel like that was the perfect choice for the setting. The only consistency in the plot was the theme of racism and stereotypes. It jumped back and forth from character to character the whole time and you had to pay very close attention in order to keep up. The conflicts seemed like real conflicts that people face in every day life, for example: when the Israeli store owner was trying to get his locks changed. People get their locks changed every day. It is such a common thing, but in this movie it causes such a huge conflict. I feel like every single scene and separate character plots fit in to help the movie as a whole. In my opinion, every single character was necessary, and every single separate story line helped make the movie into what it is. It would not be the same if even one character was removed. It just amazes me how intertwined all of their lives were, and they did not even know it.
Crash uses all three elements of the rhetorical triangle very successfully. The scene where Daniel is talking to his daughter when she is scared under the bed definitely manages to incorporate all three into one moment. I feel like pathos is used most often though. This movie is full of scenes and moments and characters that are very touching and cause an array of emotions. You are feeling something from the second the movie starts until the credits role. Even the name of the movie causes you to feel something. I feel as if pathos is used every second of the movie.
Crash manages to do a lot of things. It openly shows how stereotyping can be very hurtful and very wrong; it makes you feel strong emotions the whole time; it makes you think about yourself and your own personal views on different people and races; and it shows that even when everything is against you, you can still be a good person and do the right thing, even if it is just for a moment. This movie relates to a lot of things in our everyday lives, but it also relates to hooks??™ essays. Over all this is not just a good movie, it helps teach you and open your eyes to things that most people overlook or refuse to acknowledge. Crash is idealistic in so many ways. It definitely makes you think about your own life.
Hooks, Bell. “Spending Culture: Marketing the Black Underclass.” Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations. New York: Routledge, 1994. 145-53. Print.
Jensen, Robert, and Robert Wosnitzer. “The Black Commentator – Think Piece: ???Crash??™ and the Self-indulgence of White America.” BlackCommentator.com – April 8, 2010 – Issue 370. Web. 14 Apr. 2010. .
Smith, Derik. “The Black Commentator – Investigating the Crash Scene.” BlackCommentator.com – April 8, 2010 – Issue 370. Web. 14 Apr. 2010. http:// www.blackcommentator.com/175/175_crash_scene_smith_guest.html