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“Crash” Crime Drama Film by Paul Haggis Essay

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Updated: May 7th, 2021

There are several interwoven storylines in Crash, the majority of which concerns interracial conflicts. The film opens with a scene with detectives Waters and Ria getting into a car accident. There is racial tension between Waters and Kim Lee, the other car’s driver. The next scene shows the Persia show owner, Fahrad, and his daughter, Dorri, who are trying to buy a gun but cannot decide what bullets to get. There is a conflict between Fahrad and the gun shop owner who refers to the man as “Osama” (Crash).

Other characters in the movie are African American men, Peter and Anthony, the Hispanic locksmith, Daniel Ruiz, the district attorney, Rick Cabot and his wife, Jean, and LAPD officers, Ryan, Hanson, and Dixon. Also, there is a family of Thayers: the movie director, Cameron, his wife, Christine, and their daughter, Lara. The events of the movie revolve around these characters who find themselves in different situations, the majority of which involve racial issues.

To make the theme clear, the director uses such approaches as plot and character development and not numerous but impressive special effects. The majority of the latter is concerned with mechanical effects (practical and physical) such as pyrotechnics. There are several scenes involving shooting and car accidents (Crash). However, there are no photographic or digital illusions. The development of the plot and characters is more pronounced in the film than the effects are.

For instance, the director demonstrates the evolution of Anthony’s character through a variety of events. In the beginning, Anthony complains about having been treated unjustly by restaurant staff. Together with his friend, he commits carjacking. However, at the end of the film, Anthony helps out several illegal Asian immigrants, which demonstrates how his character developed from being cruel and brutal to being sympathetic and supportive. This is only one of many examples showing character and plot development in the film.

Critics have accepted the movie rather well. The Crash has several important awards, and its reviews are highly positive. According to Bradshaw, the best word to describe the film is “edgy.” The critic remarks that the movie is so “super-edgy” that almost no character in it can appear in the scene without “pranging” others belonging to different races (Bradshaw). Bradshaw remarks that stereotypes and characters depicted by Haggis are “destined” to be connected in “implausible interlocking” accidents of coincidence and irony.

The high appraisal of the film continues with such remarks as “no character is too alienated, too barricaded, too ghettoized” (Bradshaw). The director has created a “cosmic family” for his characters, and Bradshaw, among other critics, highly recommends observing and analyze the life of this family.

Personally, I find the main point of the film in the attempt to show the life of people as it is, to demonstrate conflicts and suggest solutions to them. The movie shows that there are positive and negative sides to every person’s character, and it depicts the development of these attributes in different individuals. The variety of links between parts of the plot and personalities makes the story rather dynamic and exciting to follow. Having watched this film, I learned that humans’ behavior could be dictated not only by their origin but also by the circumstances in which they find themselves. I would recommend Crash to everyone who appreciates an unusual plot and wants to develop analytical skills.

Works Cited

Bradshaw, Peter. “The Guardian. 2005. Web.

Crash. Directed by Paul Haggis, performances by Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, and Thandie Newton, Lionsgate Films, 2004.

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IvyPanda. (2021, May 7). "Crash" Crime Drama Film by Paul Haggis. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/crash-crime-drama-film-by-paul-haggis/

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""Crash" Crime Drama Film by Paul Haggis." IvyPanda, 7 May 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/crash-crime-drama-film-by-paul-haggis/.

1. IvyPanda. ""Crash" Crime Drama Film by Paul Haggis." May 7, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/crash-crime-drama-film-by-paul-haggis/.


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IvyPanda. 2021. ""Crash" Crime Drama Film by Paul Haggis." May 7, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/crash-crime-drama-film-by-paul-haggis/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) '"Crash" Crime Drama Film by Paul Haggis'. 7 May.

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