Sunday, August 14, 2005

Crash Test Dummies

Went with Wosog to see the new film "Crash" yesterday. As I've said before, we often have difficulty finding films that we both want to see, but we'd heard so many good things about this picture that the choice was easy.

Crash explores various aspects of the subject of racism as experienced in Los Angeles in the early 21st Century. There are several characters, all of whom have stories with a racism theme, and in many cases the stories are interconnected. These interconnections require a fair amount of suspension of disbelief for the required coincidences to be accepted. I'm not sure exactly how long the period over which the events take place is supposed to be, but if present day America is anything like as full of racial conflict as this fim suggests, the Land of Opportunity is no longer a happy place to be!

There are several excellent performances in Crash. I thought Matt Dillon was very good as the aggressive policeman Sgt Ryan. Terence Dashon Howard is great as a black man who has "turned a blind eye" to racism over the years, but finally reacts to it in a dramatic way. Thandie Newton plays Howard's wife, on whom Matt Dillon performs some impromtu gynaecology. This may seem gratuitous sexual violence, but for fans of the TV show ER it's all she deserves for turning Dr Carter into an even more morose "puppy dog", and making him leave the series!

The reasons for the title Crash are more subtle than I thought, but one of them is mentioned at the start of the video clip. When we went into the cinema, Wosog was surprised to find herself sitting next to two boys who seemed too small to be older than the 15 that the certificate of the film required. As time went on it became obvious that they hadn't read the film synopsis, and were expecting an action-packed adventure full of car chases and, well, crashes! They stayed until the end, but Wosog's ability to follow the twists and turns of the plot was slightly marred by their intermittent mutterings of "This is rubbish!", and "When's the fucking crash?".

I suppose you can't please everyone!