Crash

People told me to see this forever and I finally Netflixed it. People have also told me that it sucks because it’s stereotypical, or that it sucks because it’s cliche, or that it’s awesome because it’s an ensemble cast, or that it’s awesome because it connects all the characters together. All valid/vague arguments. I’m here to say that I rather liked it.

I come from an area comprised mostly (60%’ly) of people of Mexican descent. I use that roundabout term because some consider themselves Mexican, some Mexican-American, some American, some Hispanic, some Latino, some Chicano…it’s all confusing. Most in my hometown are actually from Mexico, though, so I’ll hopefully be using that country as a safe blanket term. And I see people feeding their own stereotypes all the time. I think the world is incredibly uncomfortable with stereotypes, not because they think they’re wrong to point out about others (All people love doing it, they just avoid admitting it.), but because they hate being called out in the middle of one. I’m pretty sure I know what my stereotype is. It’s embarrassing, too, and I try to defy it every chance I get. TANGENT: Just last night I went to a co-op (foreign territory for someone of my stereotypeโ€”prude and paranoidโ€”but quite comfortable for me as I really am). We decided to sit on the floor to continue our conversation and I mentioned that it might be hard for me to get back up once I was down ([a] because I was in heels, [b] because the hallway was narrow and [c] because i have knee problems) but my stereotypical nature produced the question, “Do you think it (the floor) is dirty?” from my friend, when in fact that thought had never crossed my mind. But when she said it, I mentally checked the floor. And no, it was not dirty. So I was pissed in my head.

Sed digredior. “Crash” points out all kinds of these moments. It’s so great to see them captured on film, because people need to see how ridiculous they are, and how their actions can lead to greater harm instead of contribute to greater good. That may seem overextended, but it’s true. I know I caught inklings of truth in most characters, even though by default I might be compared to Sandra Bullock’s uptight, paranoid, WASPy thirtysomething career woman. I found that I could relate to Ludacris’s Anthony or Matt Dillon’s Officer John Ryan. First of all, both of these performers deserve great praise for going the unconventional route. And second of all, both deserve praise for making such flawed, intricate people accessible to an audience.

All I can say is see this movie. You’ll think differently about how you act, how you carry yourself and how you perpetuate your own stereotype.

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