Crash, the movie explores the theme of racism and the basic premise that we all are interconnected in one way or another. Fast-paced scenes depict the life of different people living in Los Angeles, a perfect setting for the interconnectedness of the characters in the story. Somehow, viewers are puzzled as to the interplay of characters and what the film wants to say. But the scenes ooze with racism early on.
We see the fundamental tension between pluralism and democracy in the film. The society where the characters belong sanction the right of ethnic groups to maintain their separate cultures and communities, but it also guarantees individual freedoms and specifically proscribes various forms of discrimination. The problem is that these two sets of rights are often in conflict. This is because ethnic groups in a position of social and economic advantage, when exercising their prerogatives of associating with their own ethnic kind, deprive outsiders of rights and opportunities protected by democratic norms. In Crash, if the American success myth has been revived with a new cast of ethnic heroes, it has the same downtrodden racial villains.
They have been refurbished, however, with a new name: the underclass. There is the young black man that curses and steals an SUV from a white couple. Answering the police call, police pulls over a wrong SUV simply because they see that a Black man is driving. A white cop harasses the driver and his wife, especially the wife who carries the trauma all the time after the incident. In another scene, a Persian man buys a gun but the shop owner looks at him suspiciously. Each confrontational scene almost has a white man and a black man in it.
Racism to the maximum is what crashes the lives of the characters. It is a root evil in American society and which makes peoples lives miserable, even at the unconscious level. Despite this fact, the characters reveal a redeeming side to them, even a softer side to them. Still, prejudices are shown in most of the scenes. The white cop who harassed the wife, in the end, rescues her in a car accident.
It is probably enough to erase the hatred that the black woman harbors in her after it and one senses that the white cop may have copped out because of his own personal problems with his sick father. This moves us to another theme explored in the movie, which is, the interconnectedness of us all. Before that is explored, the script looks at the polarity in each of their lives. The characters can be both the hero and the evil one. Yet, the innate character to help out transcends everything else when push comes to shove. It is the dogmatic attitude of the characters that give the movie color and passion.
Dogmatism includes both blind belief and irrational belief. Dogmatically-held beliefs seldom fit a persons experience exactly. The black woman winds up distorting her experience to fit her beliefs. Thus, she becomes increasingly less able to connect to her husband after the incident and less able to break through her beliefs and actually see what she is potentially destroying because of those beliefs.