19 Jan 2010

Sample Essay: Diversity in Society – "Crash"

Diversity and discrimination have forever been an indispensable component of human nature. Whether we move back to the hard times of the Great Depression or come to the modern day’s society, we find a strong reflection of racialism everywhere. These aspects have been well reflected in the movie ‘Crash’. The movie ‘Crash’, released in 2005 was directed by Paul Haggis and written by Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco and won three Academy awards.

The movie revolves mainly around the overlapping or interlocking events in the life of whites and blacks, rich and poor, cops and criminals, Iranians, Koreans and Latinos – everything defined ultimately by racism. The idea is that “moving at the speed of life, we are bound to collide with each other”.  It is based on everyday racial reactions in the human society. How we react to situations adds hue to our perceptions of living life itself. All the people involved are guilty of the discrimination but sometimes through indifference, they rise above these. Assuming something about the person before us is rather a dominant feature in Crash. Crash describes a number of people with almost equal importance and shows the psychological inhibitions each of them has based on these narrowness of discrimination. The movie contains coldness, cruelty and pain, but finally unfolds to generate sympathy from general audience and an expectation that people would learn to share similar hopes and fears.

As far as Crash is concerned, the symbolism revolves around that of the idea of a traffic crash or may be just a crash of lives of different people, coming from various layers of the society. The film begins on the aftermath of a traffic accident, which finally turns out into a clash between several people of different backgrounds. The truth that is highlighted here is that the people in the society ultimately do not like one another and make hard assumptions about people from their outward appearances even if we do not know them. This aspect is reflected in both the films. Two young black men enacted by rap star Chris Bridges and Larenz Tate, who holds lot of surprises and relief for us, emerge from the restaurant and complains that the waitress did not deliver a proper service since they were black and “black people don’t tip”. Then a white couple, Sandra Bullock and Brendon Fraser emerged and the woman by instinct takes his arm. The men discuss that, “If anybody needs to be scared around here, it’s us – surrounded by a bunch of over-caffeinated white people and the trigger-happy LAPD.”

Just like Sandra Bullock’s electrifying performance, Matt Dillon also grows out from his boyish framework to a racist cop. Dillon thinks that a light skinned black woman (Thandie Newton) is white. This again reveals the superficiality of the thoughts and orientation of human minds. Matt Dillon gives one of the strongest performance as he reflects through his role, a certain frustration or wrath over his inability to save his father’s life. He orders for an unnecessary traffic stop as he discovers the black TV director (Terrence Dashon Howard) and his light skinned wife being intimate in the car while driving. He humiliates the woman with a body search and the director cannot do anything due to the guns possessed by Dillon and his companion. The irony comes out as both these cops finally ends up helping this couple. This is similar to a parable where people learn through their own actions.

As we may conclude from the name itself, there was a section of the marketing tactics that during the seminar the do not have surprises. The person talks bout medical transcript. The collinear suggestion were two, Paul Haggis would like to do the film of the balder head and hence. When thee is a difficult composition have protect. The film takes place in the city of Los Angeles, which comprises of fast moving people who also think in an advanced manner. There is speed in the movie especially in the frequency of changes in the movements of the characters. The film is vivid in terms of casting a diverse group of people who collide or “crash” into one another. The way one acts and speaks may affect many around them. Racial stereotypes play a large part in the story. The story of Crash is a collision between people, attitudes, stereotypes, traditions and finally, audience expectations.

Although there are enough signs of prejudice, the performers have been matured and professional in their performances. It is a story of stereotypes was what every man thinks of the other matters a lot and influences the others. Strong language and racist epithets are use dint he poet. The characters keep on surprising themselves and also the audience. There is backward and forward movement amongst the characters as well as time. It puts together several small anecdotes and characters and leaves more scope for us to analyze and conclude. For instance when we find a black woman looking at her white boss while he talks to his wife signifies that they share a relation beyond that of an employee and employer.

Some daughters of immigrants makes their appearance in the later part of the movie and there movements showed that although racism is present in US it is also a land of opportunities. There seems to be a three-dimensional characteristics in the characters played. A white female does not trust the person who was coming to change his locks after a car hijack because she thinks he looks like a gang star.

After seeing the movie one can relate this with his or her day-to-day experiences in the context of racism. More harsh words and context have taken place. The movie also has some sexual situations, violence and undignified attack. There are confrontations, alcoholism, corruption and children at danger, which is the main part. Who were the actual losers and who gained through this, both need to be thought over. There is too much interplay of characters. It draws upon the intercultural diversity and evokes sympathy at some point of time.

There are people in the society who are victimized and shunned by us, yet if we get to know them closer they might not appear as dangerous or repulsive as they do from a distance. Hence, it is an undesirable human act to jump to any conclusion about anyone, based on any assumptions. Even such assumptions are usually based on race and classes, which is again a mistake. Every weak section requires our sympathy and understanding. Also, everyone has something or the other to teach us. Hence the society needs to look beyond superficial views and try not to judge anyone before careful observation and judgment. The movie Crash shows us that when we collide with other people’s lives, it generates some reactions (both positive and negative), which make us realize that the world is bigger than our own lives and ourselves. It stresses on the social changes and ethnic diversity of America that has made it almost impossible to guess people’s nationality. The movie attempts to end in an optimistic note and points to the need of proper education.


Crash, Dir. Paul Haggis. Based on book by Paul Haggis, Perf. Sandra Bullock and Matt Dillon., 2005

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