03 April 2006

Crash: masterful storytelling

There is tension in our lives. Deep inside us lies our outrage against society; our bigotry, our intolerance. Yet, it’s not an oft-visited place, and sometimes we never do, for we live in civilised societies with our families and friends, in our self-assured comfort zones. But sometimes we are driven to it through sheer carelessness... or by accident. And then we find, hidden from plain sight, another world; a world of anger, fear, prejudice and resentment.

These are difficult feelings to discuss in an open forum such as this blog. Even more difficult to express in a film. But Paul Haggis does so admirably in ‘Crash’. He brings together a cross-section of people from different ethnic backgrounds and social class, all victims of a racist society, living out their own sense of alienation. Haggis tells us who these characters are, but not what will become of them by the time the film ends. So, we are stuck in this fascinating situation.

The storytelling, the dialogue, the acting are all incredible. The characters say what they feel, yet they feel impotent when it comes to managing their own lives as the plot suddenly turns upon them. In the end, they come out as humans... something I had hoped for all along. 'Crash’ is a storyteller’s delight and Haggis does a masterful job.

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