Into My Mind

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


"It's the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In LA, nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something."-Graham aka the wonderful Don Cheadle from Crash

The film opens with Don Cheadle saying this beautiful quote after being involved in a very minor car accident. From that point on, I knew that this film was going to live up to its expectations. There was a lot of positive buzz about this movie and honestly, I was a little afraid to watch it because I thought I would be disappointed. Now, I've realized how wrong I was.

is best movie that I've seen in a GREAT while. Don't get me wrong, I love popcorn movies but I'd rather watch a flick that I can really sink my teeth into than a big budget blockbuster. And I must say, Crash was a delectable
piece of celluloid! The major reason why the film is so amazing is because of Paul Haggis. I can't believe the creator of the charmingly cheesy "Walker, Texas Ranger" wrote and directed this film! Although I have to hand it to him, he has true courage as an artist. He wrote and directed a brilliant, daring, honest and eye opening film. For that, he deserves snaps and a gold star!

Racism and prejudice is the main theme of the film. It didn't take place in a stereotypical small town in the South or Midwest. Instead, these interweaving stories were told in Los Angeles which is one of the most diverse cities in the US and the world. Haggis used Los Angeles to show that racism and prejudice is EVERYWHERE and that the difference is it's more blatant in some areas than it is in others. Even though this is his first directing effort, he used Los Angeles as if it were a character. There were a lot of aerial shots and close ups of traffic, car lights, city streets etc. A lot of his transition shots worked well like when one character would open a door we'd be introduced to another one opening another door. Since he wrote a gritty, and well developed script he didn't need to choose style over substance when it came to him behind the lens. The direction was very simple yet appropriate and set the proper tone for the film.

To say the script was well written would be an understatement. Since it's not fluff and doesn't have a muscular hero ready to blow stuff up, it was given a very small budget to work with. Of course, that didn't matter in this case because the film flourished on its own. The plot is a bit complicated because there are so many characters with their own stories but after the first couple of minutes the viewer well get so wrapped up into the movie that there won't be a reason for him or her to be confused. Each character is so developed, flawed and intriguing in their own way. None of them are flat and most have their own arc by the ending credits. Also, most races were well represented and each of them were guilty of being racist or prejudiced. It was just the stereotypical white or black person being intolerant.

Most of the dialogue was very real and I don't doubt that there individuals who have said those hurtful and ignorant words. There's a line in the film that rang very true to me and it's said by Terrence Howard when he is talking to Ludacris (a carjacker). He calls him an embarrassment to their race and to himself. After hearing him say that I nodded because there have been times when I've wanted to say those exact words to a fellow Asian who cried over getting an A- instead of a A+ or to the drama queen (who was black) that cried racism when the bus driver asked her to pay full fare, and the times when the some black people are being loud and obnoxious while in a movie theatre. In high school I wanted to tell all those rich white boys to stop acting as if they grew up in the ghetto and to stop calling each other the N word. But I didn't because I was afraid of being perceived as racist and now, I regret it. There are times when people need to be called out.

All of the performances were just superb. Most of these actors had to say some pretty difficult and racist lines and it showed how fearless why saying it with such conviction and dedication to their characters. I couldn't do that because I know what it is like to be called a racist name and I would never want anyone to experience that kind of pain even if it was just for a film and I'm only acting. Ludacris is the only other rapper besides Ice Cube that has genuine acting chops. He really did impress me and I hope he chooses more meaty roles to display his talent. Sandra Bullock was excellent as the angry racist white woman. She is more than America's funny Texan sweetheart and this role conveyed that perfectly. The woman has true moxy, range and an edge that I would love to see more often. Brendan Fraser is not his usual quirky, kooky and funny self neither. He is a bit selfish, arrogant and serious as a district attorney. Like Sandra, he portrayed his role with passion and with such great conviction that you forget that he is George of the Jungle LOL. Ryan Phillippe wisely chose an interesting part to play and he nailed it. The man is so much more than a great body and pouty lips. I predict that Terrence Howard and Don Cheadle will one of the few black actors that will eventually receive an Oscar. Their presence and talent alone are mesmerizing. Matt Dillion performance was amazing and his climatic scene with Thandie Newton's character is so enthralling that you cannot take your eyes off the screen. I tip my hat to the rest of the cast for giving it their all and for making the film a great success.

The message that I walked away with is tolerance, education and acceptance. Instead of listening to the media, people around us, we cannot choose ignorance and accept hate into our lives. We have to make our own INFORMED opinions about a person instead of following someone else's perconceived notions. Because whether we like to admit it or not, we're ALL HUMAN no matter our race, religion, gender and sexual orientation. And as humans we need to accept, and to take care of one another because we're all connected.

See this film
, don't brush it aside because of what critics, politlcal pundits, or your friends and family have said about it. Naviete is what we're born with and ignorance is what you are choosing if you do not see this film!!


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