Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Backlash Against "Crash"

Ta-Nehisi Coates is pissed:
Before we go any further, I need to admit that several people who I love and respect actually like Crash. I need let them know that I don't hold this against them, and I still love and respect them--though, with Crash in mind, more the former than the latter.

With that said, I don't think there's a single human being in Crash. Instead you have arguments and propaganda violently bumping into each other, impressed with their own quirkiness. ("Hey look, I'm a black carjacker who resents being stereotyped.") But more than a bad film, Crash, which won an Oscar (!), is the apotheosis of a kind of unthinking, incurious, nihilistic, multiculturalism. To be blunt, nothing tempers my extremism more than watching a fellow liberal exhort the virtues of Crash.

If you're angry about race, but not particularly interested in understanding why, you probably like Crash. If you're black and believe in the curative qualities of yet another "dialogue around race," you probably liked Crash. If you're white and voted for Barack Obama strictly because he was black, you probably liked Crash. If you've ever used the term "post-racial" or "post-black" in a serious conversation, without a hint of irony, you probably liked Crash.

And I swear if any of you defend the film, I'm going to ban you. Not just from this site, not just from the Internet, but from all public life. Don't test me. My armies are legion.

My own view is that "Crash" was a decent movie but not great. The acting was really good (especially by Don Cheadle). The soundtrack was amazing. But the writing and roles were so predictable and stupid that I wanted to cry. I mean, L.A. is a city of, what, 5 million people? And we're supposed to believe that the same eight people keeping running into each other in all these different contexts? Please.

Look, I'm all for trying to tackle issues like race, family, class and the like through film. But don't be amateur about it. Don't give me a story on race that a high school junior would come up with for her social studies class. How this movie won an Oscar is completely beyond me.

But like I said, the soundtrack was brilliant.


Butters said...

It was a really bad movie, IMO. Just a disconnected series of dramatic clips about racism.

The final scene was patronizing, too. It made the Mexican lady seem like a perfect, submissive little brown person who is loved for her very submissiveness by her slave driver.

Qazi RoohulAmin said...

I came here following 2nd Test Match. I don't remember when did I watch this movie but sure it was after its winning of Best Picture and then on, I am a bit reluctant to watch Best pictures if it doesn't attract me otherwise. Like I wouldn't watch Return of the King, though I am living in New Zealand.
Crash, crashed the whole thing of Best Picture Oscar.
Yes the soundtrack is following the pattern of a previous best picture :)