Crash – Initial Response

  1. Write a brief plot overview

Several connected stories are intertwined including race, class and gender over 72 hours in LA after 9/11.

2. Discuss a character that was of interest to you and explain why

A character that was of interest to me was Daniel. I think this was because at first he was portrayed as such a different character to how she was. At first, he was shown with a moustache, tattoos and working a pretty low paying job as a locksmith. We then saw him go home and have a daughter. He was such a loving dad, making her feel safe and tucking him in. He also jumped in front of a “bullet” for her. He was very likeable.

3. What do you believe the director’s intention was – explore this and the moments that allow you to experience this.

I think the director had a few intentions, but the main one was to break down stereotypes that we hold about people. We can see he had this intention because he casts the characters into their “stereotypes”. The rich white lady, the young black men as thugs, even a beautiful “naive” woman. He then leads you along a journey of all of these people following these stereotypes. Such as Dorri, who cracked under the pressure when the gun shop assistant was being rude and bought blanks accidentally. Or when Anthony discovers the van with Koreans people in the back. Instead of selling them, he decides to let them free and gives them money. “Look, here’s 30 bucks. Buy everybody chop suey.” These are all moments of breaking the preconceived ideas we had of the characters based on what they looked like and first impressions.

4. How did Haggis use stereotypes to manipulate viewers.

A bit like I said above, Haggis cast these people into roles that “fit them” and then through the plot unfolded their characters and showed how to everyone acts the way we think they “should”.

5. Discuss and research the setting of LA. Why do you think it was set there and how did it influence the plot/interactions.

The movie crash was set post 911. This affected the interactions that each character had significantly. By setting the movie after 911, we can truly see the heightened racial tension between “white Americans” and “foreigners”. “they think we’re Arab. When did Persian become Arab?”. We can see that people are stereotyping and assuming that all people who are foreign are from one race. It is ironic because if someone was to do that to an American they would be so offended.

6. Were there any cinematography techniques that stood out to you? Choose ONE and discuss its effect (presenting director’s intention, causing a viewer realisation…)

One technique that stood out to me was when Ryan was running towards the crash, and the camera was shaky and following him. I feel as if by using this technique it truly heightens the tension and we can see how “tense” the scene is.

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