Wednesday, June 8, 2005

"Crash", June 8, 2005

Well, I gave in to the growing rumble of support for "Crash" tonight. Me and buddy Dave had dinner and a walk in the sweltering heat and humidity over to the theater.

You know, I just don't know what to say. The movie conjures up important messages, I think, about racism, about redemption, and about ever extending ourselves beyond our somewhat well-founded fears about people who are different from us. And really, about always, always doing that. The tragic consequences of not doing so....

You know, what Haggis wants us to get is that everyone has some fear of people who are different and that those fears often arise from valid personal experience. The thing is, you can't extrapolate the actions of a few to the intentions of many. That's kind of fifth-grade textbook diversity training, right? But Haggis makes the story sweet by twisting things up, letting us see more than one dimension of a person---so in one instant you find a character heroically rescuing the very same person he treated horribly the night before...

Eh-hem. That's the kind of Hollywood BS that gets to me. It ain't bloody likely. And in his movie, it happens over and over and over. Nearly every character has this amazingly coincidental cycle of offense and redemption with all of the plot lines kind of intersecting over the course of the story. Now, our man with the plan knows we're not that stupid. So he lays all of this over a freak cold front in LA---the closing scene is of snow fall in Hollywood. Its almost as if our movie maker friend is saying---"now, my audiences aren't stupid enough to buy the overwhelming coincidences here. So let's throw in this little conceit of a snow storm in LA to make the point all things are possible, and then they'll buy it because the audience IS stupid enough to accept that." Its just like the frogs falling from the sky in "Magnolia". That pissed me off, too!

In the end, though, there's poignant stuff in the movie. Don Cheadle is fabulous as a man with a tough decision to make but I don't know where his career is going to go when Hollywood runs out of roles for worried looking black men. I think viewers will be moved with the message to keep trying to improve the race condition. I think the movie is beautifully filmed and I loved the soundtrack. There's some unexpected and quite welcome humor injected by a pair of car thieves struggling with their own ideas about racism.

Midway through the movie, I told Dave, "they should call this movie "One horrible thing after another". It ain't for the faint of heart. I actually almost left the theater at one point because the truth of race hatred and prejudice was so poignantly portrayed and it really broke my heart. Including in the package the redemption factor keeps the movie from being garbage, but man----it is a killer and I don't know if I'm glad to have seen it.

2 comments:

shawnkline9017 said...
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louisericks02705586 said...
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