I finally saw CRASH. Good stuff, but I've got a cuople of questions...

So I finally got around to seeing what all the hubbub is about. Actually, I’d rented it twice before and didn’t get around to watching it. Anyway, I think it deserves all the praise it received (though I still wish Brokeback had won for best picture), and there’s just a couple things I need help with.

Even though I’m probably the last person in the free world to see this movie, please be warned that there could be an element of spoilage ahead…

What exactly happened with the white cop who shot the black cop? I don’t know why this went over my head, but during and after Don Cheadle’s character’s conversation with the D.A.'s aide(or whoever he was) I was scratching it(my head that is). Was the white cop dirty and the D.A.was bribing D.C. with erasing his brother’s record if he publicly blamed it on the black cop? What was the deal with the money in the spare tire? Sorry if this has an obvious anwer. Comprehension is usually my strong point :slight_smile:

Also, the part where Ryan Phillipe’s character picks up one of the carjackers on the side of the road. Was he merely trying to do a good deed? It kind of seems that way, but he alos seemed to be acting oddly . One minute he’s this happy do-gooder and suddenly he’s enraged because he thinks the guy was laughing at him? The whole thing just played out strange, in my opinion.

And last but not least, did the Iranian’s daughter purposely buy blanks? I didn’t notice if it could be seen on the box from the audience’s point of view, but she just asks for “the red box”.

Thanks for your help (and thanks for not making me resort to IMDB. I’d rather remain ignorant than have to go that route)

For this, at least, it was clear she was deliberately buying blanks. She specifically told the store owner to pick out the red box, despite the fact he asked her if that was what she really wanted. From a storytelling point of view, it was clearly establishing that she wanted that box deliberately, and any good storyteller would not show what was meant by the red box until later.

Of course! :smack: That is a nifty bit of storytelling. Carrying that thought further, when she freaked at discovering the gun missing after the robbery, were we originally meant to think she feared the gun fell into the robbers’ hands? In hindsight, she was actually worried that her father was going to confront someone and only have blanks(?)

Maybe it whooshed straight over my head, but I didn’t think that the purchase of the blank was intentional. When she bought them, the gun dealer was harrassing her and basically implying that she knew nothing about what she was doing, and, in order to get the hell out of the store, I thought she just pointed blindly at a box. “The red one” is something you say when you have no idea what you’re actually buying OR it’s a clever plot device. At any rate, I disagree with the “she bought them on purpose” premise.

Sorry—the ol’ boss came by mid-post & I didn’t really conclude that well or check my grammar (blanks, dammit). I think my theory fits in with the greater structure of the movie, in which people first challenge a stereotype then ultimately perpetuate it. Not that “Arab women don’t know about bullets” is an intensely pervasive one, but you get my drift, I think.

Or rather, I hope.

Well, when I was watching the movie, I knew she had bought blanks long before that fact was established. It was all in the storytelling (which did reduce the impact of the film on me, but that’s the price you pay for being a writer).

The ammo dealer clearly thought she was making a mistake in asking for the red box and tried to steer her otherwise, but she insisted. She specifically wanted that particular box, even though the gun dealer – who was used to selling live rounds – tried to seel her something else.

I think she was worried about her father going off with the gun. He could have ended up aiming it at someone who had live ammo.

If this is what I think it is (the hijacker being the guy whose sneaker Don Chedle found in the opening scene), the point was that Phillipe, despite his tolerant leanings, was nervous around Blacks. He wasn’t enraged: he was fearful, unable to understand why the other guy was acting the way he was.

In all likelyhood, they were both dirty, but the shooting mentioned in the movie was probably not the white cop’s fault. The DA wanted Don Cheadle to say it was based on his prior incidents so they didnt have to villify the dead black cop with the evidence that bolstered the white cop’s claim. The DA felt having the white cop go down for shooting would be in the best interest of all involved, and offered Don Cheadle an incentive to downplay the contradictory evidence.

I think you are supposed to think he was doing a good deed, and trying to prove to himself that he wasn’t a racist. I don’t think that scene made a whole lot of sense, but I think that was the point of it.

Yes, she knew she was buying blanks. I chalk this one up to bad, manipulative writing. The gun store owner would not have responded the way he did, but it is clear she intended to buy blanks.

Hmmmm. Yes, that’s the scene I’m referring to, and you’re obviously a sharper cookie than I, so you may well be correct. Why then would he pick him up in the first place though? I thought I picked up an underlying tone from Phillipe; like he was up to something. At one point I was waiting for him to extort him in some way, and another minute I thought he was gonna try to solicite sex or something. I don’t know. Did anyone else sense a dark subtext in this scene?

I agree with Birdmonster – I don’t think she knew she was buying blanks. She didn’t know anything about guns. She just demanded the red box because she wanted to get out of the store, and she didn’t want to admit to the guy that she didn’t know what she was getting. That’s why she didn’t change her mind when he tried to steer her to another box - she didn’t want to admit that she didn’t know what she was doing.

Are we really sure she knew she was buying blanks. If so, I think I’m going to enroll in Remedial Movie Watching. At the very least, it’s open ended, methinks.

I thought it was pretty obvious and universally accepted. . .

Alright. If you need me, I’ll be down in this hole I’m crawling into.

This makes sense, or *would * make sense if we’d been shown any reason for his character to feel conflicted about his own racism. His disgust at what his partner did and subsequently asking for a new partner, the whole scene where he intervenes on Terrence Howard’s) behalf; we’ere never given a reason to think he has a dislike or distrust of blacks. If your theory is correct, and I suspect it is, this was a very poorly executed storyline in an otherwise brilliant movie.

I agree. She didn’t know they were blanks. She didn’t know anything about guns - no way she picked out a box of blanks from across the aisle. And when the gun dealer questioned her, she thought he was just being (even more of) a jerk.

Like the Punxatawney Phil, I’m out of my hole now. Thanks comrades.

She knew they were blanks. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but I seem to recall that there were other shots to establish that she knew her way around firearms. (I could be misremembering.)

I believe you are supposed to think he is doubting himself when Matt Dillon tells him “he has no idea” what he’s capable of. He is basically insinuating that everyone has unexamined tendencies, and that nobody has a right to judge him. I think that’s why he helps out Terrence Howard’s character near the end of the movie. I disagree about the “brilliant” movie part, but I think there are plot elements which bolster my explanation of the scene.

Maybe, but I would imagine she would have expressed more shock and disbelief when her dad told her he shot a child if she didn’t know he was incapable of killing someone with the bullets she bought. Also, it strains credibility to think that she wouldn’t have looked at the box at all after buying it, even if only to see what the gun shop guy was talking about.

I suppose you’re right, if only because I can’t come up with any other explanation. By the way, he helps out T.H’.s character before the hitchhiker incident, so that part doesn’t, ya know, bolster so much :stuck_out_tongue:

Did anyone else not realize at first that there were blanks in the gun? I don’t just mean the split second after the gunshot. I hate to admit this, but at first I just thought he missed. No really :smack: Of course, I also spell couple “cuople” so you don’t want to listen to me.

I say she didn’t know they were blanks. If you know what you want, you don’t say “Give me the red box.” And when the creepy gun dealer asked her if she knew what they were, she didn’t say yes, she just demanded the box so she could get the hell out of there.