Sunday, February 25, 2007

Crash. Boom.Bang- What a movie!

Biggest miss of 05-06- Not having watched “Crash”. Will not dwell too much on the how and why not (because there simply is no reason or excuse). But I guess this is a call to action for all those miserable cinema buffs who missed this movie.

What I like about the movie is that it's unassuming and stays true to the theme of how dangerous & wasteful it is to stereotype people and why judging the faces and acts around you, on the basis of melanin deposits, postal addresses and net worth, is severely detrimental to your being, especially in the era that we live in.

The movie lures you into judging and then just when you've trudged the hill, allowed yourself a pat on the back for traversing the cliff of that judgment, it gently pushes you onto the edge-to make you see how wrong you were in assuming what you did , when you judged.Of how wrong those milestones were. And how wrong you were to have climbed that cliff.
Black and white. Yellow and Brown. All shades of humanity do a wild dance on the palette called the screen and make you see the world in all new colors.

Who’s the hero-someone who appears racist, but is quite literally baptized noble, by fire? Or someone who is shamed by these acts of racism, but commits something irrevocably horrifying, simply because he tuned into the wrong frequency of suspicion (based on color)?

What’s right and what’s wrong? Who's the sinner and who deserves to be the glorious saint?
The movie provokes you into questioning your own deep rooted beliefs-things about your faith, about your behavior in society, about the people you know-and the scary part is you always took these things for granted-as natural as your breath-based on what you’ve been taught, what you’ve imbibed from your family-so much so, that just acknowledging these things which have so far been invisible atoms of your existence, becomes a source of amazement. It's like being pushed into a swimming pool and realizing that you can't breathe the way you've been breathing all your life.
Turning interrogator, jury and defence on your own self is tricky. What right do I have to judge whether an American is being racist when similar accusations can be made against me and the crime proved? Do I not cringe when I see a dark unfamiliar face peering at me in the train? Why is it easier to smile at someone pretty and with blue eyes? Why did I assume that the person who just spoke in a language I dont understand was saying something rude about me? Just how deep seated is this prejudice when I can not get rid of this inspite of the realization that an individual’s goodness is not dependent on his ethnicity or the texture of his skin. Is mere realization strong enough for me to dispel all shadows of doubt and trust people for what they are and not what they appear to be?
Generate your own set of questions-go beg or borrow this DVD, if Crash missed provoking you. Also, one word of advice- stay away from Babel, the me-too movie tries to be a Crash II and fails miserably-The beauty of Crash is that its is about people like us, people who err and flounder but never seem to preach. Babel does quite the opposite-aims to address what it thinks are the world’s problems by creating & strengthening stereotypes.
And well, on the case of Realization instigated by Crash vs Yours Truly, sentence is deferred, until further notice. After all, its not easy to judge after having watched Crash!