It addresses the problems of modern society, violence, cynicism of people towards each other and especially towards members of other ethnic cultures. This is especially actual for our country as it unites many nationalities, among which the conflicts are constantly arising. The film is not about few characters, but of many at once. Here are no main characters, but rather all the characters are the main and important (Miller 45). Every person, the member of the film is a separate story different from others, and at first, glance is unrelated to the others.
The director shows the fate of fourteen people repeatedly cross over 36 hours. There are two policemen, one of which appears to be a total “asshole”, rude, harsh, embittered sad and racist, the other is still a young, inexperienced guy, who seems to be good and nice; but during the film they change their roles, and we see who is who. There are two Afro-American guys who steal cars and hate white people. We also see a man who is the attorney and his wife, who is suspicious of all “non-white people”, whether Negro or Hispanic, but tells this only to her husband, being afraid of public condemnation. A young Latino man, who puts locks on doors and do not inspire confidence in clients. There is an Afro-American filmmaker who curries favor with police officers and wishes to be born “white.”
Throughout the film, we learn about every character, which they really are, if they are able to make sacrifices, to risk their lives, who can go against society, and who tries not to stand out. There ware no obvious good or bad characters. Each has its own truth, its own life. The film attracts as a magnet, enchants and you start to feel a part of it.
All characters of the film are bright and deserve attention, but the most impression was made on my by two police officers: Tommy Hansen and John Ryan. Officer Tommy Hansen (Ryan Phillipe) is a young, white Los Angeles police officer who works as a partner with an older Officer John Ryan. At the very beginning, we see Tommy as a fair, shy, inexperienced policeman. Once, after watching his partner John Ryan pull over black Cameron Thayer and his wife Christine and sexually molest Christine, Tommy desires to change of partner. He feels guilty over the incident and despises Officer John Ryan, so can’t continue to work with his partner-racist. Such reaction on the situation characterized Tommy from a positive side and makes viewers sympathize him.
The same day, on his patrol he joins a police while chasing Cameron Thayer, who was being carjacked, but fought off his carjackers and is going away with one of carjacker being still in the car. Once after coming into a dead end Cameron, who is angry because of LAPD, confronts the police officers. Fair Tommy decides to solve the problem and tries to convince Cameron to come down to avoid a quarrel which could possibly end with Cameron’s death. Tommy defends Cameron, telling that he is a friend of his, and convinces the police officers to let Cameron go home with a “harsh warning”. This scene proves that Tommy influenced by remorse behaves fairly. He evokes positive emotions, and compared to other heroes looks as a real hero. After all, the director of the film shows the real face of Tommy in the case with Peters Waters. So, almost at the end of the film, Tommy is seen driving in his car and picking up Peter, a young black carjacker who was hitch-hiking. Being in one car with an African-Americans man, Tommy finds out his own insecurity with other races and shows it through his treatment of Peter and their quarrel.
At the same time, Officer John Ryan (Matt Dillon) shows his negative features from the very beginning of the film. He is a bigoted white police officer who is a partner of Officer Tommy Hansen. He is a rood, impolite, racist man who uses his social position and physically molests Christine (the wife of Cameron) under the pretense of looking for a gun after blaming Christine in performing fellatio on Cameron while he was driving a car. He molested the woman, thus humiliating her husband and forced him to apologize also. Watching this episode, the viewer feels disgusted to the actions of the officer and him as a person. This makes his partner Tommy Hansen to believe in John’s racist tendencies. At the same time, Ryan is trying to find help for his father, who probably suffers from prostate cancer but whose treatment is ineffective. This shows him as caring and supporting person, but later he manifests his anger in prejudice. He manifests racist attitude towards an HMO employee who doesn’t allow his father visit a desirable doctor (Crash (2004 film) 2009).
For some reason, usually, it is said that this film is about political correctness (as it received Oscar as the best film of 2005 (Beckman 45). However, I am sure that “Crash” is not about political correctness, and nor even really about its ugly flipside. This film is about difficulties of coexistence in a huge multi-national state. About how difficult it is for people to understand each other, especially if they are from completely different culture and upbringing, and also about the tragic consequences of such failure. None of the characters in “Clash” is a total villain or a hero.
The film consists of several smaller stories that are united by one theme: how people behave in extreme situations: crime, shootings, car crashes. The film “Crash” is an incredible intertwining of destinies of characters and original story. How is it possible to separate the good from evil, a shadow from the light? All of them make us think about our lives and society we live in.