Crash Analysis

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Crash is a groundbreaking film that came to our cinema screens in 2004. The cast is well known and they all play new characters to their genre of film. The film has been Oscar nominated and has made more money then the director could ever imagine. The director of this film, Paul Haggis has deliberately shown the audience race relations and how we treat each other today so the audience can make there own preconceptions. He likes to do this so that people are forced to confront difficult issues.

Mr Haggis wants people to think about his film after they have watched it instead of just forgetting all about it and saying, “that was a nice film”. He says the idea of the film came to him the night after September 11th 2001 at about 2am. He said he had his own memories from when he had a car – jacking experience ten years previous to that night. As well as the extreme close ups used the music also music shows emotion for instance when the little girl gets shot all we can hear is the music, which makes us take in what is happening at that time.

The music is by Mark Isham and he uses a non-digetic soundtrack. Paul Haggis wrote this film as well as directing it. The film uses a non – linier structure, which the audience may find harder to understand. He uses multiple narrative strands as he weaves all the characters stories through the busy streets of Los Angeles. All the stories interconnect and develop, leading back to the murder victim who turns out to be the “lost” brother of Graham.

I think Mr Haggis is trying to show people the other side of Los Angeles as most people think of Hollywood and a rich lifestyle but this is not the case as we see a violent culture community, which has many gangs. We are shown that many people own guns, but it is for there own safety than to kill. We are shown how people relate to people by prejudice and first impressions when Don Cheadle who plays Graham, utters out the first line and then interchange between Jennifer Esposito and Alexis Rhee.

Don Cheadle also produces the film along with Paul Haggis and gives a significant financial backing to the film. As we get to know characters in this film we make assumptions about them. Most of the characters are in narrative strands about race. Some of our views on the characters are completely obliterated from our first assumptions. For example when the policeman sexually assaults a black women on the sidewalk next her car we think he is a vulgar, disgusting man, but later in the film we see him trying to safe his dad.

This shows a caring, sensitive side to the policeman and so we think he is a good character. The film treats racial conflict, physical and verbal, very directly. The film has a willingness to portray a “series” of clashes between individuals. Crash is an independent film that is made by a group of small companies and released in the US and the UK by two different distributors. The film was commercially successful to a very high degree and was represented in various award ceremonies. I feel the film uses the “art house profile” to make sure it catches a wide audience.

The film maybe an 18 but I think it will catch a large audience from the age groups above this. The film has some well known Hollywood faces in it such as, Sandra Bullock, Brandon Fraser and Matt Dillon. The actors must of taken lower fees than usual to appear in the film, as the budget was only $6. 5 million. This is only 15% of any other major film. The US distributor, Lions Gate, knew that film was going to be a success from the first time they saw it. They went for a wide release which got shown at over 2,000 screens across the US and Canada.

This paid off and the film was at the box office from May until September. It was released in early summer, which ran through the blockbuster season. In the UK, Pathe’ was the films distributor and they also went for a wide release, showing the film at 276 screens, which is a lot more than Pathe’ other releases. The film was released later in the UK but still in the blockbuster season. In 2006 it got nominated for 6 Oscar nominations that will of boosted the DVD sales of the film.

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