If you have not yet seen the film, there may be some spoilers in here for you!
If you haven’t seen it I suggest you run to the hills! Before the zombies get to us!!! … *whispers* they want your eyes.
Hmm Crash… Never having actually seen Million Dollar Baby (Eastwood, 2004); even after all the reviews, my reason for going to see Crash was not linked to any particular actor/director/screenwriter, I believe I just wanted to see a film, and Crash was the best rated. I was with high hopes of seeing a more than average film; which had not been the trend recently.
Crash; the film of a thousand production companies… No really, there were tons of them, and if you ask me they were repeating the same ones over and over.
Strangely, if you ask me, Crash, was in no way related to that of David Cronenberg’s Crash (Cronenberg, 1996), but it does makes me wonder how they were able to keep the same name, anyway onto the review.
Directed by Paul Haggis, and starring Sandra Bullock (Jean Cabot), Don Cheadle (Det. Graham Waters), Brendan Fraser (DA Rick Cabot), Michael Pena (Daniel), Ryan Phillippe (Officer Hanson), Matt Dillon (Officer Ryan), Ludacris (Anthony) Jennifer Esposito (Ria) Loretta Devine (Shaniqua), Thandie Newton (Christine), and Larenz Tate (Peter Waters) to name only a few.
A film such as Crash is always hard to explain in a few words. To perhaps help, it’s like Six Degrees of Separation, wherein each character is somehow related through an action or decision that another character made, related to that point, I did read one review in my local newspaper which wrongly slated it comparable to Love actually, simply for its multitude of characters linked together, actually calling this a reason to stay away from the film.
Getting back to the story of the film, it focuses on fourteen very different people; each one having their own views on racism, all being of different races themselves, they all live in Los Angeles, and in 36 hours, they all collide.
It was definitely a change from the films I have been watching recently, it lacked the loud obnoxiousness of both Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Burton, 2005) and the Fantastic Four (Story, 2005), which was extremely welcome. I myself was surprised that my cinema was even showing a film that might not appeal to the masses.
On to the actors, as I may have mentioned already in this review, the two performances that shined out to me were that of Matt Dillon, Michael Pena and perhaps Sandra Bullock; you’ve always gotta love the obnoxious person that turns around and realises how stupid they are. I don’t really have much else to say, these three took some of the best parts of the film and stole the show.
The screenplay; was written by Paul Haggis; who as I mentioned before wrote the screenplay for Million Dollar Baby and I felt that this was the best screenplay I had heard so far this year. The lines were wonderful; I scarcely remember predicting lines, rolling my eyes or anything that I usually do while watching a badly written film. But then this is also partially because of the brilliant acting performances given.
So what were the good parts of the film? First off, it is definitely not a film that you will laugh all the way through, there are some humorous parts (although you tend to be forced to ask yourself, “Because I laughed at that, does that make me incredibly racist…”), but not many, most of the time you will either be shocked or moved. It’s a horrible film for manipulating the audience, but it is extremely effective through that, and the best sad film I’ve seen in a while. Some of the better parts of the film I would have to say would be with Daniel (Pena) and his daughter, as well as a few of the scenes with Officer Ryan (Dillon) these scenes were by far the most superior in my eyes, most touching as well.
So those were the good bits… what was bad? As horrible as I sound, I already mentioned that I do not like child actors (although the little girl was not bad), I also do not like it when musicians are in films, Ludacris was not so bad in Crash, though nonetheless it irritates me. Other than my own pickiness I found the film to be superb in every shape and form.
Overall I can say that I thought of it as a great film. With some superb acting, and a tight script which is at once realistic, moving, shocking, sad and amusing, and one film that I can say that I have really enjoyed.
Cptalbertwesker Rating – 8/10
Although some feel it is a load of garbage I felt that Crash is one of the best films of the year. As far as serious drama’s go, it’s the best one I’ve seen in a while.