The movie started with Don Cheadle, who played a Los Angeles detective, commenting about how people interact with each other. He said that the act of touching is prevented by the existence of artificial elements such as metal and glass. Because of this, people have the tendency to crash with one another in order to feel each other. This thought provoking line summarizes the entire plot of the movie which revolved around racism and stereotyping. The term “crash” described the many conflicting events among the main characters that transpired in the movie.
It defined the multifaceted relationships of people from different cultural backgrounds, colors of the skin and socio-economic status. Crash showed situations wherein the Blacks were perceived as hooligans, Whites as the sovereign race, Hispanics and Asians as the outsiders of the present day LA society. With this, biases, discrimination and misconceptions dominated the mood of the movie. These themes were manifested in the movie through the the characters of Matt Dillon who played a police officer of the LAPD, Sandra Bullock as the rich socialite of a District Attorney and Shaun Toub who portrayed a Persian immigrant.
Dillon’s character mainly pointed out his one-sidedness for the white race. He pressed his superiority complex to all people of black descent that white Americans are better than everyone else. This resulted to a deeply rooted animosity between blacks and whites. Meanwhile, in the case of Bullock’s character, she had false impressions about males with tattoo and bald shaved head. She thought that people with these specific physical traits are all criminals. Her false generalization reflected the ill-fated situations of minorities in a multicultural society.
More so, in the scene where Toub’s character was trying to buy a gun for the protection of his family, the American gun seller discriminatingly refused to sell him one because of his nationality. His Persian background which is closely associated with Muslim terrorism promoted racial discrimination which in this case prevented him from owning a gun. All of these scenes were seamlessly intertwined to create an eye opening film about the hard reality of social inequality. Furthermore, Paul Haggis, the director of the movie Crash, conveyed that in a place where different cultures exist, discrimination and stereotyping is bound to happen.
In any society, in this case the city of Los Angeles which is known as the mecca of various differing races, inequality is a part of life. However, the movie emphasized social conditions which are situated at the both ends of the spectrum. He demonstrated that having a decent lifestyle and morals won’t assure you of respect and amiable treatment from others. Instead, culture and race became one of the basis for determining a person’s personality, capability and competency. The social stigma of belonging to a minority have caused emotional, psychological, economical and social burden.
Haggis stressed that this social condition will persist in a continuous cycle which induces suffering where everyone loses and no good is obtain from that kind of situation. More so, he highlighted in the movie the actuality of the racial dominance of white Americans. They were at the apex of the social pyramid. Then, next in line the social stratification were the black Americans followed by the Hispanics or Latinos while at the bottom end were the Asians and other minorities.
However, at the end part of the movie, surprising twists were revealed that broke the racial monotony where scenes of altruism and modification were evident. It showed that people who were naturally mean can turn into a good-natured person because of certain circumstances such as life threatening situations. These kind of events bring out the goodness and selflessness of others. This is probably part of the design of human nature. No matter how evil people can be, goodness will always be part of their entity which is most often than not triggered during arduous conditions.
This part was seen in the movie when the character of Matt Dillon saved a black woman from a car crash. That woman was the same person whom he previously sexually molested the night before the accident. The character of Dillon was able to suppress his racial personality for a higher humanitarian purpose. On the other hand, people who are genuinely good can also become bad. Their erroneous actions can either be spontaneous or premeditated depending on the level of goodness the person has and the type of situation.
Morally upright people tend to go to the dark side as a way of defending or protecting themselves from harm. In the movie, the anti-racism character of Ryan Philippe, an LAPD police officer, accidentally shot a black man because of fear of being killed first. He entertained racial thoughts in his head that provoked him to commit a crime. In the end, his wrong assumptions turned him into one of those discriminating cops that he used to criticized. Overall, the movie tackled the controversial issues of racism and stereotyping and how