Review of Crash

Crash (I) (2004)
Poorly constructed morality tale
14 March 2006
The film tells several extraordinary stories happening over the scope of a few days and connects them using implausible coincidences. This makes it difficult to suspend disbelief during the entire film. All the stories share the same motif: There is good and bad in all of us, and racism has complex causes. There is little variation and little originality in the presentation of this theme.

I think the makers of the film were aware of this, and tried to make the film more interesting by arranging it chronologically in such a way that the process of the different pieces of the puzzle coming together is meant to be interesting. Both the film title and the introductory dialogue allude to this, but to me it seemed like a poor excuse not to tell rich, conclusive and well-developed stories.

I do appreciate movies that do not follow a simplistic good/evil pattern; I would have liked to see a more developed and refined story of Officer Ryan (Matt Dillon) and his interaction with Shaniqua and his father, for example. But there are too many plot lines to make any single one stand out, and as a consequence, the characters seem artificial rather than realistic. (As a European, I cannot judge whether the individual subcultures portrayed at all resemble reality.) The movie is not "trash" as some reviewers have called it, but it is forgettable and certainly not deserving of an Academy Award. As opposed to "Brokeback Mountain", I doubt anyone will talk much about "Crash" in 20 years.
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