Thursday, November 12, 2009

'Crash' Movie Review

I happened to see ‘Crash’ last week for like the 5th time. For records, I absolutely love the movie and the way it depicts simple human nature and emotions. And I am still not over the fact that Paul Haggis did not win the Best Director Academy for it! (Ang Lee won it for ‘Brokeback Mountain’).

What is really like about Crash is the way each character in the movie depicts and emotes their thoughts in a clear yet subtle way. From Don Cheadle to Shaun Tobb to Matt Dillon to Ryan Philippe, all of them played their roles without being over the top. And the best part of all this is that the actors play roles which you would least expect them to. Be it Shaun Tobb’s pain and anguish over his shop being ransacked or the confused Sandra Bullock’s hatred for men of color or the 2 black guys’ take on racial discrepancy in LA or the young girl’s innocence over the magical cloak or a mom’s take on her two sons albeit mixed with confusion and blind love strikes a chord somewhere within you and leaves you with indelible thoughts.

The basic plot of the movie consists of 5-6 stories that come together at the end. The movie starts with Don Cheadle and his partner’s car hit by an Asian women. While the women are fighting over the matter of fault, Cheadle walks over to a scene of crime where he eventually finds out that it is his brother who has been killed. The movie takes place in about a 24 hour time period and racism plays a role of paramount importance. The complexity of the movie comes from characters’ tangled lives and world. The way each character is developed over the movie obliterates any preconception we have about it. Each of the character in the movie undergoes a metamorphosis of some sort which leaves them with an unsettling thought about their existence. Some scenes in the movie simply take your breath away. Be it the way Terrence Howard fights his demons about being black, Matt Dillon’s relationship with his sick father, Ryan Philippe’s helplessness, Carlos Pena and his daughter’s scenes, Cheadle’s grief or Sandra Bullock’s and her maid’s relationship which eventually makes Bullock realize her own fallacies; each one has a message and enacted brilliantly by the actors.

What makes Crash all the more enjoyable is it brilliant soundtrack. It is absolutely mesmerizing and goes with the flow of the movie. The cinematography of the movie is top notch too. Camera shots at various angles with close up of the characters with their expressions and the overall shots show more emotions and speak more and better than any dialogue.

The thing that would is the eventual winner is its editing. Brilliantly edited scenes do not allow any let ups and the flow of the movie is just breathtaking. Never in the movie will you find lags between scenes and there is no break whatsoever. The editing is a magical and maintains the balance of the movie without it getting crappy. No wonder Hughes Winborne won the Oscar for the editing.

All in all, a brilliant movie which takes an honest look into the racism prevalent in society with a subtle message for hope. It is definitely a controversial movie which will evoke mixed responses within masses. But as far as I am concerned, the movie definitely deserves all the praise and awards which it received. The acting, music, editing, cinematography and characterization make this movie definitely worthwhile. Simply put, a must see for all movie buffs!!!!


  1. I was a little disappointed with 'Crash' on first watch because I thought it didn't make a strong enough statement. Then a later watch showed me that the understatement of the movie is what made it work :)
    On the flip side, Haggis didn't win simply because of the beauty Lee brought to Brokeback. Some of the squences in that movie are amazingly haunting. Even if 'Crash' is understated overall, Haggis does pander to too much emotion at times in the movie. Thats probably what lost him the Oscar.

  2. With all due respect to Lee's direction in Brokeback, it did not have the subtle touch to it. Definitely the sequences and direction were great, but Haggis actually brought a sense of realism to Crash. However, that is a personal opinion :)