Our Weekly Entertainment Dispatch
Crime, Punishment, and Racial Strife in L.A.
Crash is a film that revolves around a busy 48 hours in Los Angeles. It is centered around LAPD Detectives and Cops, the interactions that they have, and how they intertwine to impact each other. There are homicides, carjackings, pursuits, and explosions to keep you interested, but Crash also digs deep into some important themes.
The movie uses an ensemble cast of well-known actors to paint the mosaic of stories that form the plot. Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Sandra Bullock, Thandiwe Newton, Brendan Fraser, and others all have significant roles, but there is no lead. The star-studded cast gives one solid performance after another.
Crash received numerous accolades up its release. The director and screenwriter Paul Haggis won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay. The film itself won Motion Picture of the Year from the Academy. It also took the Oscar for Best Editing.
The movie explores racial stereotypes in a balanced if slightly over-the-top manner. Racial themes in police conduct, interpersonal relationships, and even within marriages. Many of the characters spend the film talking past each other, blinded by their own opinions and desires.
From a police perspective, the film imparts some critical lessons. It explores public trust in the police and how that trust can so easily be eroded by misconduct or even simple mistreatment by individual cops. It is a reminder to always be professional and compassionate.
The film also shows how “bad” cops can be heroes depending on the circumstances, and “good” cops can make fatal errors in the blink of an eye. It’s something for everyone to consider the next time a cop makes a mistake or does something wrong and they release his civilian complaint record. That snapshot in time or a few complaints is rarely an accurate reflection of the cop or the person.
This is a movie that you must pay attention to. There is a lot going on and it is not all captured in the dialogue. It runs about two hours and can be seen for free on Amazon Prime Video or rented for a few bucks on the major streaming services. So put your phone down and focus. This movie will make you think.
Enjoy the movie and support your local police!