Paul Haggis’ 2003 film Crash is about Los Angeles citizens with very separate lives. They go through interweaving stories of race, loss and redemption. It shows us how we connect or disconnect with other people. Although we feel separated by a number of factors such as race, class, status or gender we are more connected than we think. The editing used in this film contributes to the over-all theme.
Characters involved are a black detective estranged from his mother, his criminal younger brother and gang partner, a white District Attorney and his irritated and pampered wife, a racist white police officer who disgusts his more younger partner, an African American Hollywood director and his wife, a Persian-immigrant father who is distrustful and vigilant of others, and a locksmith who is a Hispanic hard-working family man. A lot of cross cutting is used to connect the different characters together. For example in the end of one scene the door slams.
The sound of the door slamming is used to wake up the other person in the next scene. The ending of one scene is pushing a door, and a door opening leads to the next scene. The ending of a scene is a close up of the black detective putting groceries away in his mother’s fridge; the next scene is the District Attorney’s wife talking about grocery shopping. This film uses montage shots so that the overall effect is greater than the individual parts. The length of each shot determines the pace of the action including the change of pace and that affects the mood.
The shot of the introduction of each character lasted about the same time. That way we saw the general type of person or attitude each character has. When shots were used to show emotion, the shot lasted a bit longer so that the viewers are able to connect and understand the character. Especially in the scene when the Persian father shot the Hispanic man’s little girl. That went into slow motion and the shot lasted long. The music was sad and dramatic and that shot personally made me cry because I can really feel the pain of the tragedy that just occurred.
A scene that sends a message through editing is when the black Hollywood director and his wife were stopped by the white police officer. The white police officer molests his wife and that hurts the couple in many ways. They both become very affected by what happened. Later on in the film the wife gets into a car accident where her car flipped over and gets stuck but needs to get out of the car before it explodes. That event became a turning point in the white officer’s life and changed him. He became the opposite of the man that was introduced to us.
This editing plays an important role because it shows us that the same person who hurt us would be the same person that is there in your time of need. The editing used in this film definitely portrays the theme. The techniques used show that all the major events that happened in their lives were caused by each other. People that think that they have no connection with each other actually are connected. The editing used in this film had an important role in sending an important message to the viewers. There may be differences between us but we are all the same, we are all human with feelings and emotions. We are all connected.