Cast: Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, William Fichtner, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe, Larenz Tate, Michael Peña
Director: Paul Haggis
Screenplay: Paul Haggis
Rated: MA adult themes, medium level violence, low level coarse language
Running Time: 100 Minutes
When Moving At The Speed Of Life, We Are Bound To Collide With Each Other
A Brentwood housewife and her District Attorney husband. A Persian store owner. Two police detectives who are also lovers. A black television director and his wife. A Mexican locksmith. Two car-jackers. A rookie cop. A middle-aged Korean couple. They all live in Los Angeles. And in the next 36 hours, they will all collide..
'Crash' begins with a detective arriving at the scene of a murder in the outskirts of Los Angeles. The film then backtracks to 36 hours prior and works its way through the events that lead to the murder in a series of events that form a jigsaw that eventually pieces itself together when the characters collide, usually not pleasantly and never subtly.
'Crash' is an ensemble piece and is tremendously well cast. Sandra Bullock delivers an impressive dramatic role as Jean, a bigoted, bored, self-centred DA's wife with Brendan Fraser as the DA, Rick. Don Cheadle is Detective Graham Waters, who is having an affair with his Latino partner, Ria played by Jennifer Esposito. They have to investigate the carjacking of the DA and his wife, as well as the murder from the opening scene. Inter-twined characters also include Matt Dillon as a racist policeman, Officer Ryan, and his new partner, the naïve rookie cop Officer Hansen played so well by Ryan Phillipe. Thandie Newton is Christine, wife of television director, Cameron, played by Terence Howard who are subjected to harassment at the hands of the two policemen, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges as Anthony, one of the carjackers, along with impressive support from Larenz Tate, William Fichtner and Michael Peña.
Much of the action involves cars - including the initial carjacking, the policemen patrolling in a car, a car crash and another incident where the said murder takes place. This theme combines the title with the incidence at which people collide, intentionally or not.
'Crash' marks the feature directorial debut of Paul Haggis who was also responsible for the screenplay, which was inspired by an incident when he was the victim of a carjacking at gunpoint. Haggis says it was his aim to show intolerance and compassion, showing how we all hate to be judged yet somehow show no contradiction about judging others and to that end he has succeeded here admirably. This is a brutally honest film which some may find hard to tolerate for its boldness and candid nature yet somehow you can't help feel that you may have said something pretty similar to one of the characters on the screen which is pretty unsettling.
Challenging, provocative, deliberately confrontational, often disturbing and very demanding, 'Crash' conveys arrogance, bigotry, prejudice and mislead pride and superiority with so much force that you'll be glad you are safely sitting watching, merely a spectator.