Thanks to the creators of the picture for the bright work that leaves a mark on the memory and makes us abandon stereotypes. An unexpected (but not accidental) winner of three Oscars at once, a dynamic film-drama by the Canadian screenwriter and director Paul Haggis Crash (2004) – at first glance, an acutely social movie about the pressing problems of modern society. However, if you look deeper, the meaning of the picture is far from so unambiguous.
The cities and states of the 21st century are inhabited by thousands of representatives of various ethnic groups. It’s no secret that all people are different: skin color and temperament, gender and age, financial situation, tastes and concepts – the differences are obvious. How do different people behave in difficult situations, is modern society, in principle, capable of uniting peoples?
The audience’s attention is offered several storylines, each of which, in one way or another, touches upon the theme of racism, the clash of different cultures and life positions. There is some exaggeration, this directorial move helps to focus on the identified problems.
The meaning of the name
The English title of the film ” Crash ” can be translated rather as an accident, crash, crash . But in relation to the plot of the film, perhaps the most correct.
The slogan of the film is very successful.
We are different, but we are doomed to collide.
In fact, the meaning of the name is much broader than just an emergency situation – a collision of cars. Clashes of characters, interests of ethnic groups and social strata occur hourly not only in the United States. In the 90s of the last century, the republics of the post-Soviet space faced interethnic conflicts, since then the situation has not become calmer. European states are also very familiar with national tensions, this problem is very urgent.
Digging even deeper, the English title hints at the collapse of the multinational social order as a whole. There is a certain expediency in this, however, as the plot develops, a bias in psychology becomes more obvious.
Big city conflicts
For what reasons do the heroes of the film conflict? Traffic accidents, criminal or bureaucratic skirmishes, invented grievances due to misunderstanding, the transfer of personal difficulties to strangers – such reasons for conflicts are the same all over the world.
Aggression has no nationality. The rhythm of life in big cities contributes to the development of assertiveness, unfriendliness and an increase in the level of aggression. Is it possible that the inhabitants of megalopolises will soon have absolutely no kindness, and friendliness will be an unaffordable luxury?
The director of the Clash disagrees with such gloomy predictions and offers his own vision of the solution to the issue.
The beginning and the end are looped
The film begins with an accident, a collision of two cars. Both vehicles are driven by women of Hispanic and Asian descent. At the time of the conflict, both behave quite aggressively, mutual insults sound, including racist ones. The final scene is the same: again an accident, a conflict between drivers, mutual attacks.
For almost two hours of screen time, viewers discover how closely intertwined the fate of the heroes, which at first seemed unconnected in any way.
Law and lawlessness
It is impossible to ensure the rule of law in the country without the trust of the population to the law enforcement agencies. Unfortunately, lawlessness takes root not only in the criminal environment.
A trivial situation: a good cop and a bad cop. Bad Ryan does the wrong thing, so the good Hansen refuses to work with him. As you move towards the finale, the vector of audience sympathy changes direction by 180 degrees. Hansen turns out to be an insignificant weakling, and Ryan … We did not know how difficult everything in his life was.
I know you don’t like me – I’m a bastard. But my father did not deserve such suffering.
At a certain stage, the guards of the law from the film, alas, commit crimes. But they also deserve sympathy.
Metamorphoses of psychology or personality ambiguity
What is the average Homo sapiens capable of in moments of anger, irritation, fear? Any moment when your composure is lost and your own actions are out of control? Paul Haggis clearly demonstrates in his film how human nature can manifest itself in different ways.
Even a good person with principles in a moment of stress can discover far from the best qualities and do not the most beautiful deeds. On the other hand, you don’t often find one hundred percent scoundrels either. Life often offers situations where the essence of a person becomes obvious to others. Sometimes the true essence is diametrically opposite to the formed image.
Point of no return
Everyone has a turning point in their life, their consequences are unpredictable. Sometimes disastrous, sometimes positive. But from that moment on, everything changes.
There comes a moment of truth when an honest police officer for the sake of his brother becomes corrupt, and another honest police officer hides the traces of his accidentally committed crime. Any humiliation comes to a limit – and then the quiet and docile TV director is ready to engage in a fight with two armed bandits, as well as confront the police.
A bandit and a hijacker rescues a dozen Asians, giving up a decent income, and is pleased with his deed. And a disgusting racist saves a woman humiliated by him from a burning car, while almost dying himself.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in Crash as Governor of California. His photograph hangs on the wall of the police lieutenant’s office.
- The director used his own house and personal car for filming. The reason is the limited budget of the painting (6.5 million dollars).
- The film premiered in 2004. At the same time, the Oscar for the best film went to this work only in 2006.
The meaning of the film
Serious cinema pushes the viewer to reflect not only on the meaning of the film, but also on the significant things in life.
- Racism is a monstrous ideology that divides nations, hinders peaceful coexistence on a common planet for all. But also this worldview disfigures the souls of those who profess it.
- Modern society suffers from many negative phenomena that worsen the quality of life. Increased aggression and intolerance towards “people of a different kind” set off a chain reaction, which creates bitter situations like the shown movie stories.
- There are often conflicting character traits in each of us. Conclusion: an obvious villain is sometimes capable of an Act with a capital letter, and a good and correct character does not always turn out to be a hero. There are no people who are completely bad or perfectly perfect.
- Mutual understanding is something that is sorely lacking in the surrounding society.
We are all different, but equally real. Everyone who comes into this world is no worse than others. And everyone has enough problems in this life in abundance.
And yet, hundreds of years later, the eternal words from Holy Scripture have not lost their relevance:
Judge not lest ye be judged.