So last Thursday, I went to see that new movie Crash. The taglines for the movie said "You think you know who you are. You have no idea." and "Moving at the speed of life, we are bound to collide with each other."
Its a movie about a bunch of incidents where persons of different races and nationalities come together in not so nice situations. Where they actually collide or crash so to speak. Pretty much random incidents that could happen in any North American multicultural city on any given day.
All in all, I'd say its probably one of the best movies I've seen since 2003's House of Sand and Fog which was a rather touching story about a proud Iranian immigrant caught up in a drama over his newly bought house. Go watch that for yourself.
Now Crash explores some of the darker sides of the multicultural interaction namely racism both subliminal and in your face but mainly in your face as is to be expected in the movies. It might actually give one pause to think about any unpleasant interaction one has ever had with someone of another race or nationality. How much of what was said was due to some race issue and how much of what was thought but wasn't said was due to that as well. One can only guess. I personally try to assume its not a racial issue unless most hints point that way because I get annoyed at folks who play the race card on every single issue but sometimes it is a race issue and how you handle it I guess just depends on your personality and your mood.
Still that's a story for another time. The stories in Crash involve carjackers, cops, a locksmith, a small business owner, a District Attorney and some other intriguing characters and it has a pretty nice cast including Don Cheadle, Lorenz Tate, Brandon Fraser, Nona Gaye, Sandra Bullock, Terrence Howard, Thandie Newton, Matt Dillon, Michael Pena, Loretta Devine, Ryan Phillipe, Keith David and Ludacris who was actually pretty good for a rapper in an acting role. Actually one of the more ironic and amusing parts of the movie was Ludacris dissing rap music and its social effects on black folks.
So I'm not going to go into detail and review the movie. You can find that all over the web if you want. Its a good movie, I recommend it to all, go check it out, it'll make you think.
Now onto my rant. Maybe certain friends have rubbed off on me or I was just viewing the movie from a weird perspective but I think there were some underlying issues in this movie whether consciously included or subconsciously that were negative towards the brothers. So let me put on my Conspiracy Brutha (dats word to Dave Chappelle! get well soon son) hat for a minute and deal with some of it.
Well most/all of the characters in the movie were flawed in some way or another but from my perspective all of the brothers were portrayed negatively. Maybe a little too negatively. Ludacris and Lorenz Tate played the stereotypical gangstas, Don Cheadle's character was a policeman but he had some issues too, but the most intriguing black character was Terrence Howard's upper middle class black man role. It was one of those roles that Hollywood always seems to perpetrate which state that any black man who can be deemed successful or is not currently in the hood, selling drugs, unemployed, uneducated or working a blue collar job has somehow lost his black identity.
Its actually one of those annoying fallacies that we probably will be stuck with for a while because the current belief is that one must speak, dress and act a certain way in order to be black.
However on an even deeper note concerning Howard's character the message subconsciously conveyed to us is that black men even if they are successful and rich are unable to protect their black women. What do I mean? Well, in one scene, Howard for all his success was unable to protect his wife when she needed it and when she was in a life or death situation in another scene who attempted to come to her rescue? Nope not Howard but a white man. So maybe I'm sounding racist here but what I read into that storyline was this underlying suggestion that black men are unable to be protectors of their women whilst white men still retain that power. Another attempt to belittle the black man and castrate the black male psyche perhaps?
Ok Conspiracy Brother Hat off now. That's all I had to say on that. Just an alternate view to open up some dialogue and get folks to think.
On another note I also thought that too much was done to explain the racism of Matt Dillon' character and also to redeem Sandra Bullock's character. Lets face it some folks are just racist and that's all there is to it. Ok that's glossing over it since it is deeper than that. But sometimes some folks are just racist and there is no redeeming quality about them or hope for them becoming less racist as the movie would have you believe. But this is Hollywood so of course they tried to explain it all.
Still I'm just nitpicking, its a great movie with a lot more to see than what I just talked about. The scenes with Michael Pena's locksmith character are especially touching. Go check it out.