Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Week Seven - Crash

Paul Haggis' 2004 Oscar-winnig turbulent tale of diversity - Crash, brings together a distinguished cast of notable names to reflect the boiling-point issues of race and descrimination, forever lurking over the shoulders of a sprawling Los Angeles community. The film reflects the hibernating resentment of true-blue America towards any outside co-inhabitation. For better term, those seen simply as outsiders. Wheather they are legal or illegal, seems to hold little sway with the higher-up or middle/working classes who control the system, be it financial, Legal, Welfare or otherwise. The same roller-pin of segregation paints everyone who's not from "Down round these parts right here" the very same. Though dark in tone, the stories paralell exsistences come face to face in many incidences such as the two gangbangers deciding on an apparent whim, after a rather philosophical confersation of note on the subject of colour, to hijack the black SUV of the very people the discussion was based on. Both of which, of course, are white (Brendan Fraser and Sandra Bullock). Refreshed and upbeat, they leave a resturant after a seemingly pleasant meal and evening out when the senators wife (Sandra Bullock) notices the two black men on the side-walk glancing at them as they pass by and instinctivly, she covers up. Shortly after, they are converged upon by the two as they sit into their car, ready to drive home. The experience proves altogether too much for Mrs Cabot (Sandra Bullock) who, later on in the film, after arriving home safe and sound from them filling out a report for the missing vehical, soon after retreats into something of state of depression derriving from the ordeal which, in turn only fuels her distrust of colour in general. Enter - Mexican-American locksmith, and conveniently so. From Scott Foundas' point of view, Haggis fronts the sympathizing angle on her still shaken frame of mind, and rightly so, instead of condemning her to the mountain top for verbally enforcing a potential accusation or "What if", of the locksmith making copies of their key for his "Gangbanger friends" to come back and burgle them. Personally, I'd say after the time she's been through, she would be perfectly justifiable and entitled to just a little bout of thunderous venting. In Foundas' directionless rant he says, "Instead, when Sandra Bullocks pampered Brentwood housewife accuses a Mexican-American locksmith of copying her keys for illicit purposes, Haggis doesn't condemn her reprehensible behavior so much as he sympathizes with it." There's nothin' reprehensible about it because she didn't directly accuse him of anything. All she did was propose the possibility of it happening which I've already said, perfectly justifiable after what happened, wouldn't you think. For me, (Sandra Bullocks character is the most interesting because she draws on the feelings we hide most, the everyday ins and outs that sometimes secretly just makes us want to disect the world piece by piece and get rid of anyone in our way who poses any threat to out comfy exsistence. Later on in one of the most poigniant scenes in the film is when she is talking to her husband (Brendan Fraser) on the phone from work, her laid-bare frame of mind mentallity awakens itself when she describes herself as being "Angry all the time, and I don't know why". For me, this pretty much clinched her the Oscar for most interestingly messed-up character above everyone else in the film. Roger Eberts review and response to the soarly missplaced analystic ramblings of Foundas, is one of a calmer overview to the films diversely related structure. He says "If there is hope in the story, it comes because as the characters crash into one another, they learn things, mostly about themselves. Almost all of them are still alive at the end, and are better people because of what has happened to them." Which is very true, just because Foundas lives in Los Angeles, as glamorous as that sounds to the outside world around, doesn't mean he knows a damn thing about what goes on within it. There's a saying in western civilization that goes - "Sometimes you just can't see the forest for the trees." As for the Slick Cinematography, Paul Haggis creates a wonderful wide-angle world for these unsuspecting characters intertwining lives to collide or indeed Crash into one another in L.A.'s unforgiving sprawl, bringing to life an atmoshere that is as profoundly desolate as it rewarding.

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