Mar 6, 2006

Crash taste dummies

Saw the much-celebrated Crash yesterday. My, what a star cast! And let’s start with the wasted one. There’s the perpetually unpalatable Sandra Bullock. the whiny, paranoid urban wife. Yes, the character rings true and all, but Bullock only ever looked presentable in that Hugh Grant flick where the man who passed up Hurley (Idiot!) can’t do anything without Sandra’s advice. Jennifer Esposito is as usual very easy on the eye, but tell me again what is she doing in the film? Did Paul Haggis hire her only to be the subject of the Cheadle on phone to mum dialogue? And to declare her character’s exotic South American descent?

The rest of them are all super. Brendan Fraser is for once, not bashing chaps in cotton rags, looking very prim-proper just like a Grisham-spec District Attorney. Don Cheadle is is usual controlled, perfectly in his role. The Wild Things chap, is not likeable, but flawless, just like in Wild Things. Add good work bonuses (bonii?) for the two car stealing boys, Thandie, her husband, the young cop (Cruel Intentions). If I can’t remember any other people, that’s because they were all at least good, if not noticeable.

Again, not versed in film making technicalities, I’d say the film was well-made, but nothing exceptional. There are shots where the camera just takes too long to get to the shots next waypoint… must be some sort of cine-art thing that escaped me entirely. It’s happened before, my altogether more in-cinema-tune wife tells me.

The strength of the film is its story and probably the first real Hollywood look into the sort of subtle racial discrimination that goes on all the time. And it does, almost exactly as shown in the film. The whole WASP fixation of the redneck American junta, and the irritating, low IQ habit of branding everybody with a beard Osama, everyone with dark skin Saddam and that sort of thing. The fact that the counterpoint – reverse racism to coin a phrase – is also represented is nice. The braided hair car jacker, is quite right. The discriminated party can come to a point where everything seems an act of discrimination, almost.

Will it win at the Oscars in seven-odd hours time? I don’t know. But it should certainly be up for a clutch of acting and story awards. [NOTE: Since this review, the movie won Best Film] Now to the final test of its greatness: Would I buy the DVD? Er…. No. But, here’s the thing, the wife will.

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