Racial discrimination A lot of debates after Crash got the Best film of the 78th Oscar Award. Some critics were dubious about the inordinately coincident plot and the overtly confrontational dialogue honestly representing the reality; some critics were doubtful about the overly ambitious a film to tackle a series of heavy and aching questions in the society in less than 120 minutes. In my opinion, the film may not intended to offer any solutions to issues of racism and discrimination, religion and faith, cultural diversity and disputes, health system, gun control, police and judiciary institutions.
By condensing all these bickering scattering in American societys daily life into conflicts occurring in a group of interrelated strangers, by magnifying the emotions, rational or irrational, of every muti-aspect characters, this film is arousing the audience awareness and reflections to these permeating, deep-rooted issues in a new light or at a higher level. Among all the motifs the movie tries to explore, racism is the first and foremost theme. The story begins with intense confrontations resulting from racism, among which the most prominent one is among the white and the black, from the two black young men carjacked Rick Cabot, the local attorney, and his wife, to John Ryan, a police officer, molesting a black woman, seeds of disputes were sowed from both the white and black.
To make the conflicts even dramatic, every person involved were emotional with fury and hatred, ready to be lit at any time by any small sparkles. The screenwriter, however, are not satisfied with the scene involving only two groups of people, instead, racism in the film has covered the discrimination between the white gun store owner and the Persian revolver-buyer, the harsh quarrelling filled with aggressive words between the Latino female detective and an Asian middle-aged woman, even the alienation between two white policemen, John and his former partner Tom Hansen. All of these confrontations are linked and motivated for further development by Crash, as indicated by its title. I have noticed that one Chinese translation version of its title literarily means, car crash.
Indeed, as the first look at this film, most of the plots are indispensible to the scene of car crash and all its related activities, on the road to investigation, beside the pavement of car accident, off the car in front of the home, selling the car to destroying the evidence, etc. But after a second thought, what in collision are not merely the cars, but the tension between the desperate son of a disease-tortured father and a black female insurance representative, the distrust and unidentified anger from petrified carjack-survival to the Hispanic lock-changer and house helper, the misunderstanding between the intimidated Persian shop owner and the Hispanic lock-changer, and the pain of being submissive after continuous humiliation to the television director himself and his wife. What strings all these beads are not only the image of car, but also the religion and belief. The small statuette of Saint Christopher cherished by the young black man Peter, the religious fresco on the wall and the image of Sainte Clause in front of the house where Cameron confronted with three police cars, the soothing and celestial chanting of foreign language appeared several times where there was a climax, all of these components help to expose the internal conflicts deep into the characters heart. Maybe the existence of these objects, images, or sounds serves to send the message from the film about all these thought-provoking issues.
Detective Waters got relief from finding his brothers statuette; the Persian shop owner was salvaged by his “ angle”, the Hispanic lock-changers daughter; the reconcile and rebuilt of trust among the formerly-harassed Christine and the officer John in the background music of the saintly song and slow motion of the pictures. Indeed, the package of problems and confrontations without any solutions brought by this film may be irritating for audience to accept and face all of them at one time. However, movie, as a form of art, comes from reality by drawing inspirations but undoubtedly higher than reality. Apart from telling the story in an intriguing way to arouse the audience, examining the complicated relationship and the underlying implications under the plot may not necessarily be the duty of a film but something should be done by us, the audience and the critics.[-Z]