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CrashCrash

Starring: Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Sandra Bullock, Thandie Newton, Terrence Howard, Ryan Philipe, Brendan Fraser, Michael Pena and Shaun Taub
Directed by: Paul Haggis
Witten by: Bobby Moresco and Paul Haggis

Don Cheadle Interview

 

Bluntly speaking? Crash plays with our stereotypes and looks racism straight in the face and says, "Hold on a minute…" It really shows how ridiculous the assumptions we make about people based on their skin color, or socio-economical status truly is. It's a must see (and frankly, should be mandatory viewing) for everyone. Crash is an extremely honest, moving, enlightened film that doesn't lecture, or pretty up things, or for that matter lay blame. It just speaks the truth we all really need to come to understand, accept and start to acknowledge, while still being, at its heart, a very entertaining film.

Story goes… It's a few days before Christmas in Los Angeles. Several families will be thrown into trigger events that are highly plausible, and sadly realistic.

Jean (Sandra Bullock) and her Los Angeles District Attorney husband Rick (Brendan Fraser) are car jacked by a couple of "thugs" (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges and Larenz Tate). In another part of town, police officer Ryan (Matt Dillon) and his newbie partner Hanson (Ryan Phillippe) pull over a well-to-do couple (Thandie Newton and Terrence Howard), more or less for kicks. Officer Ryan takes his power-of-the-badge to places one's cold sweat nightmares are born from. In yet another part of town a storeowner (Shaun Taub) is vandalized and believes the culprit is a locksmith (Michael Pena) he had words with earlier that day. These unconnected urban tales are all "touched" by Detective Graham (Don Cheadle) and his partner Detective Ria (Jennifer Esposito). The two are looking into a possible frame up for the sake of political mobility for the local DA, and a murder of a young man dumped in the quiet roads above the city….

All these disturbing events are rolled into misunderstandings, ethnic ignorance, and racial stereotypes - but not as usually portrayed. You have not seen anything like this before. Each of our "brandable" characters will be revealed for their true selves - beneath the façade of financial status, or color, or ethnic stamp, while we watch a helluva tale - whose time has come - unfold. Crash is fueled with maddening realism. Don't be fooled by the film's Los Angeles backdrop - these are issues that go on every day - everywhere.

The folks in the film are a hodgepodge of colors, and ethnic origins - but each shares a commonality of remarkable talent. Terrence Howard, who looks like a "black" Benicio del Toro, is about six foot two of pure man heroin. He's chocolately sweet with a full crème topping - delectable on oh-so-many levels! Here, he shines acting-wise as well. Thandie Newton, for you chick lovin' sorts, is as stunning beautiful a woman as she is gifted. Cuties Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, and Larenz Tate are "bad guys" here, but as with any humans there is more than meets the eye - even with carjackers. Both are incredible and the camera just gobbles them up! Michael Pena carries one of the film's most touching scenes with delicate ease. Matt Dillon, though playing a multilevel racist man-pig here, is still edibly handsome in that clean-cut way, and hands in one of the most powerful performances of his long career. William Fichtner, a BluntReview.com fave, has a small, yet typically poignant performance slice. Speaking of slice, mansteak Brendon Fraser, who vollies between the high action genre and intensely superb independent, glows in his role, and his smart yuppie wear. Sandra Bullock sheds her brand-name blockbuster-homogenized skin, and dons a true actor's sheen again, bringing a rich truth to a character whose safe life is absolutely shattered. But it's Don Cheadle, in the film's the only "connecting" storyline, that will steal your heart, and leave you in awe. Cheadle has this way of silently screaming within a role, and here one feels his pain. He's simply an American treasure.

Crash is masterful film making. It is an emotionally a strong film - and a very important film. Its theme of the just-below-the-surface fears and misunderstandings - whether we are willing to admit it or not - show how we're all heading towards a "crash." That is unless we stop, listen and respect one another. Enjoy

Snack recommendation: Brioski and tums


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