Crash Movie - Key facts - figure constellation - Plot - Characters - Themes and Interpretation
Semester 2 Key facts • film • screenplay written by Paul Haggis • released in 2004 • drama • episodic film • unchronological presentation of events setting: Los Angeles, Californial Figure constellation Cameron Thayer Farhad Dorri Louise Waters Crash daughter Daniel mother, Christine Thayer touched, humiliated her Graham Waters Ria Partners but saved her later on Brothers John Ryan Partners Tom Hansen kills † Peter Waters Rick Cabot friends Housekeeper Maria Carjack Shaniqua Johnson Anthony Jean Cabot Plot Graham Waters and Ria ● ● on the way to a crime scene they had a collision with a woman -> fierce argument between the two women Detective Waters arrives at crime scene: dead body discovered by the roadside Flashback of the last 36 hours • Water's family background: cares for his drug-addicted mother, who worries about her younger son Peter • Waters and Ria are called to a crime scene which involves a shootout between two undercover police officers • a man working for the district attorney asks Waters to cover up what happened (because the incident could damage the police's image • in return, promise to spare his brother Peter from imprisonment • Waters reluctantly agrees to the deal ● • in the end, his effort are in vain: the dead body by the roadside turns out to be his brother Peter Peter and Anthony carjack District Attorney Rick Cabot and his wife Jean they drive through the city in the stolen SUV & run over a Korean man • they drop the injured person in front of the emergency entrance of a hospital • they can't...
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sell the vehicle because of the blood stains • both try to carjack Cameron Thayer, who resists -> ● Peter escapes, Anthony & Cameron are chased by police • later, Anthony steals the van of the man they ran over • the van is packed with illegal Asian migrants Anthony refuses an offer to sell these refugees, but releases them at a busy intersection in Chinatown same night, Peter is given a lift by LAPD Officer Hansen, who is off duty -> he is shot by Hansen due to a misunderstanding (racial prejudice) Rick and Jean Cabot • after violent attack & car theft, Jean has the locks changed in her home by locksmith Daniel • Jean wants to have the locks changed again (doesn't trust Daniel) • District Attorney Rick fears the car incident & news of a shooting between two undercover police agents could have negative impact on his career & election prospects • Rick and his staff put Detective Waters under pressure to cooperate & falsify the facts John Ryan • LAPD Officer Ryan is worried about his sick father • he's angry & frustrated, because the health insurance ● company, represented by Shaniqua Johnson, refuses to provide more effective treatment • on night duty with younger partner Hansen, Ryan stops a black limousine which he takes for Canot's stolen SUV • brushing aside Hansen's protest, he carries out a sexist & humiliating body search of the wife of the driver (Christine) • later, he safes Chrstine's life when he rescued her from her burning car Tom Hansen • he is with Ryan on night duty and watches him molesting Christine Thayer • disgusted by his behavior, Hansen asks his boss to be assigned a new partner -> he has to go on duty in a one- ● man car he helps Cameron to get out of a dangerous confrontation with the police • driving home at night, he gives Peter a lift, they talked friendly • when Peter reaches into his pocket to show Tom his Christopher figure (Tom has one in his car), Hansen wrongly assumes that Peter is about to pull a gun -> full of panic he shoots Peter, acting, as he thinks, in self-defense • to get rid of the dead body, Hansen stops, dumps the corpse in a field and sets the car on fire Cameron and Christine Thayer following the degrading body search by Ryan, the couple argue: Christine complains about her husband's weak resistance & lack of support during the police control, Cameron accuses his wife of unrealistic ideas about what it is like to be black -> the argument causes a deep split in their relationship Christine gets into a car accident and is rescued by Officer Ryan ● • Cameron becomes the victim of an unsuccessful carjacking incident and almost gets shot by LAPD officers after a car chase • in the end the couple reconcile Farhad and Dorri Golzari • they buy a weapon and ammunition for Farhad, because he fears for his family's safety after his wife has been attacked ● • one of the shop doors doesn't close properly -> Farhad wants the door be repaired -> locksmith Daniel changes the lock & warns him : bent door is the more serious problem, he should have it replaced -> Farhad feels exploited, refuses to pay the bill ● • shop is broken into -> Farhad feels cheated, makes Daniel responsible • armed with his gun, he ambushes the locksmith -> shoots at Daniel but hits his daughter Lara • she's not hurt -> the completely shocked Farhad hands the gun to his daughter Dorri Daniel and Lara Ruiz • Daniel is a very good father to his daughter Lara • he changed the locks at the Cabot's house & years Jean making disparaging remarks about him • he also changed the locks for Farhad's shop and is insulted when he advises him to replace the whole door • escalation between him and Farhad, when Farhad gun pointed Daniel • Lara wanted to protect her father, when she jumped to him ● Graham Waters • Detective quite and reserved self-assurance disappears. cares for his mother and is worried about his younger brother Tom Hansen inexperienced police Officer disgusted by Ryan's behavior • fair and respectful ● • racial prejudices (subconsciously) ● Characters ● Farhad Golzari • shopkeeper ● • feels like an outsider • experienced racism • protective • mistrusts a lot Daniel Ruiz • locksmith • hardworking • lovely & good father Anthony and Peter Peter : quieter, more reserved Anthony: loudmouthed, always rambling on about racial discrimination ● John Ryan • LAPD Officer racist thoughts / attitudes disrespectful behavior towards ● ● ● ● ● Christine changed his mind (?) cares for his sick father Rick Cabot • local district attorney • smart • focused on his career/ reputation ● • manipulative Jean Cabot • housewife • haughty, bored ● • frustrated alone • luxury Cameron and Christine Thayer upper middle class • Cameron : TV director • racism experiences almost ruined their relationship Themes and Interpretation Stereotyping, racial prejudice & discrimination • huge metropol L.A. as a model to show that people of diverse ethnic backgrounds haven't assimilated into one society sharing a common cultural life & values • all characters jump to conclusions based on racial prejudice and racism • Peter was shot by Hansen because of racial prejudice • gun seller treating Farhad like a terrorist Racism and police shootings • John Ryan as a LAPD Officer, who sexually touches and humiliates Christine • the whole movie is full of racism scenes • everyday racism • structural racism Affirmative action Programme to protect marginalized groups -> "Reverse discrimination" ● -> not all are pleased about this practice John Ryan insults insurance administrator Shaniqua, saying that she only got the job because she's black • Ryan's father's business was destroyed by the affirmative action Crime, violence and gun culture Second Amendment -> "keep and bear arms" • Anthony & Peter approach the car drives Cabot & Thayer with a gun, threatening them • the film includes a lot of handguns • Peter finds himself confronted with the "three-strike- law"; only his brother's illegal cooperation saves him from imprisonment • high crime index in L.A. Health insurance • John Ryan insults Shaniqua because he's frustrated about the refusal of the insurance company to pay for more expensive treatment for his father • Shaniqua in turn argues that the healthcare plan that Ryan's father has is limited and doesn't cover extra costs Illusion of Ideal American society • L.A. as a metropolis Displace ethnic diversity supposedly Ideal city is contrasted by the complex conflicts ● ●