Crash Film Review Essay

Rhetorical Analysis of Crash the movie Essay

1316 Words6 Pages

"It's the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something." -Graham from the Motion Picture Crash (2005) This quote refers to the diversity in Los Angeles and how people put up personal barriers and are hesitant to trust others. Crash is a movie that really gets people to look at their own prejudices and to the roots of their morality by showing the hidden racism and prejudices that are very present in our society and even in ourselves today. If this movie were to be summarized in one sentence, one may say that no…show more content…

Anthony is an African-American man who detests white people after he received bad service at a coffee shop. His accomplice Peter, who is also African-American, is man who is more open-minded about prejudices and racial views. Cameron is an African-American producer and his attractive wife Christine and he are on their way home from a party when they are pulled over by Officer Ryan, who accuses them of sexual misdemeanors. Officer Ryan?s partner Officer Hansen just stands there in shock as Officer Ryan inappropriately searches Christine. Farhad is a middle-eastern shop owner who wants his lock fixed, he hires Daniel, a Hispanic locksmith who isn?t trusted by his customers because of his appearance. The reason behind the numerous storylines and variety of characters in the movie is the director trying to get his viewers to see the different walks of life in Los Angeles. By doing this the viewer is able to see how the characters perceive each other. This is vital to the movie because the main message of the movie is how we view others. In relation to the opening quote, I believe the referenced ?we? is speaking about the different people in Los Angeles and how they don?t only fear others but also themselves, and their fear comes from their stereotypes of others. Their greatest fear is the lack of trust they hold for other people. Since they fear the other people and are frightened by what they may do

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Facing Our Shadow and Finding the Light

Cameron, tired of feeling spineless, almost dies when he violently threatens a group of police officers. This reckless action ends up doing more than soothing his wounded pride, however. He can no longer pass judgment on his wife for her capacity to behave recklessly, but must forgive her, because he's discovered his own capacity to behave even more recklessly. Additionally, the common trigger for both his and his wife's recklessness--they share the predicament of living as a racial minority--shows him that he and his wife are "in this together". They must act as comrades, not enemies. So any fault or evil that we notice in another is likely to lead us to our common ground, but only if we are willing to fully face the corresponding shadows within our own nature.

Facing the darkness within also puts us on guard against its potential for harm. In the film, a white police officer repeatedly takes a stand against racism. However, in one of the last scenes, he gives a black hitchhiker a ride while off-duty. While his passenger makes friendly conversation about country music and ice-skating, this strongly anti-racist police officer simply doesn't believe anything he says. He can't picture a hitchhiking black man being interested in those things. He misreads his passenger as being antagonistic. When the black man reaches into his pocket, the rookie officer feels threatened and quickly shoots him, killing him. If even someone so genuinely appalled by racism can fail so tragically to connect with another person due to race differences, it is clear that everyone has at least some tendencies toward racial prejudice. The anti-racist policeman who killed the black hitchhiker might have acted differently if he had ever acknowledged and worked on the prejudice buried deeply in the shadow of his personality. But in accord with the eerily prophetic words of John Ryan, he had "no idea" who he really was.

So the dark side of human nature may either destroy us or lead us to mutual understanding and forgiveness of others. The dark side of life, similarly, may be either a cause for utter despair or the holy ground on which we hold all things common. Regardless of our social class or physical characteristics, we all suffer feelings of helplessness, loneliness, alienation, and fear. We all must endure pain, sadness, uncertainty, loss, and death. It is these things that we most loathe which form the soil where we might grow the human connections that we so desperately need. In this soil, beautiful connections can grow quickly between people who otherwise would spend a lifetime only crashing destructively into each other. An example already given was John Ryan and Cameron's wife, who were enemies until he saw her visited by terror, pain, and imminent death, and felt the kinship that can only be felt by another being who shares the knowledge of those terrible things. And in the few seconds between the moment the gun goes off in the Persian American shop owner's hand and the moment the locksmith realizes his little girl is not hurt, the locksmith is transformed before the shop owner's eyes. Where he once saw just a "thing" that creates trouble, he now sees a reflection of himself. In those seconds, the helpless girl clutched by her father becomes his own daughter, Dori. The howls and sobs coming from the locksmith echo in the shop owners very core, where he feels the gravity of such loss and grief. The locksmith, like him, fears nothing more than that harm or death should touch his daughter. Simultaneously, the shop owner sees his own potential for evil, a darkness so black that the sight of it makes his mind reel. Dazed, he stares at the loathsome thing in his hand, as if wondering how it got there. Seeing that the little girl is unharmed, he stumbles toward his car. Life will be wonderfully different.

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