Choose three characters from the movie crash and compare their relationship elements based on social status, gender dynamics, age, race and tolerance of uncertainty. The opposing characters within the movie “Crash” depict contrasting lifestyles, attitudes and behaviours. The elements of social status and gender dynamics determine the characters’ tolerance for uncertainty as well as the ways in which they react to societal situations. A situation which may be quite dramatic and life changing for one person might be minimal for another.
The following characters including: Jean Cabot played by Sandra Bullock, Daniel played by Michael Dena, and Officer Ryan played by Matt Dillon will be explored throughout this paper. Sandra Bullock’s character “Jean Cabot” illustrates an unforgettable amount of fear, stress, anxiety and turmoil within the film. For Jean, an upper class, affluent, Caucasian female, it is difficult for her to accept the fact that she has been a victim of a reckless crime as she and her husband were demanded to leave their vehicle while two black males with guns, drove off leaving them terrified and without their car.
Jean makes it clear that the incident was in fact her fault because she knew it was going to happen. She makes it clear that she feared the two men based on their skin colour and that she initially did not say anything to her husband because she didn’t want to be implied as racist. Jean’s character shows an immense amount of anger but also a prominent stereo-typical attitude. Based on one experience Jean has had she then proceeds to discriminate against Daniel, a Mexican male who comes to her house to change her door locks.
Daniel played by Michael Pena is a working class male in his early 30’s. He has a home and a family and is unfortunately discriminated against time and time again within the film. He is depicted within the film as having a happy life and a caring nature however, he lives in a lower-class neighborhood and can’t help many of his life circumstances. Rather than Jean being the victim it could be made quite obvious that Daniel is in fact the one who is now being placed in a target position. While both Jean and Daniel are victims in their own way, their reactions are immensely diverse.
Daniel is a lot more calm and collected. Although his anger shows on his face, he has strong control over his emotions. Rather than speaking up in an angry tone after Jean directs biased comments against him, he still leaves her house with poise. Officer Ryan played by Matt Dillon has a fascinating role within this film. He is a police officer who has been part of the force for quite some time. It is apparent that he has had many incidences where it could be seen as understandable for him to have certain views of individuals based on social class, colour and background.
His experiences in the force have allowed him to be present in a variety of situations that have shaped the way he sees individuals. At the beginning of the film, we are made to believe that Ryan is a racist, discriminatory, arrogant cop. Although we learn throughout the movie that some of his experiences do base his strong view points on truth. This is no excuse for him however to inappropriately touch a female car passenger when questioning her and her husband for a minimal accusation. All three of these characters can be compared and contrasted based on their diverse up-bringing and life experiences.
For Daniel it is apparent that he has been challenged and turned against throughout his life. However, he has learned to cope and exudes poise and compassion for others. In contrast, Officer Ryan has also been through challenging times and has been a witness to years of criminal activity. Rather than demonstrating any kind of remorse or compassion for innocent victims, he is extremely judgmental even before anyone has proven to commit illegal actions. Both Jean and Ryan share similar hypercritical attitudes towards anyone that they assume could be involved in crime.
It is quite sad however, to observe Jean’s discriminatory behavior throughout the film. Particularly seeing as how she has a Mexican female housekeeper, she is still terribly biased and subjective towards others. The symbolism between Jeans relationship with her housekeeper and the way she treats others is prominent. Ironically towards the end of the film, Jean makes a strong statement pointed at her housekeeper that she in fact is her only friend, which promotes the idea that Jean could be making amends with her negative past behavior.
In terms of gender dynamics, it is evident that the female characters are significantly more emotional than that of the males. Jean is tremendously expressive in her behaviour while the male roles hold more of their emotions on the inside. Social class as well as gender also has a significant effect on the way the characters display their feelings. Jean is from a far more sheltered world while Daniel has been exposed to a harsher reality. It is only natural that Ryan is confident when it comes to expecting the unexpected as that is his role in life.
This is despite the fact that it was inexcusable for him to have carried an undesirable arrogance and a discriminatory attitude at every turn. Throughout “Crash” the connection between the characters is much more than circumstantial. It is in fact human nature. The movie encourages the audience to realize that we are connected in a much larger context. This context is one that includes human qualities, experiences and emotions. We are all part of one world that has developed and made its own distinctions between itself.
People separate themselves based on classifications such as social status, race, age and gender. This separation was depicted clearly in the movie and was shown to create a negative, discriminatory society. The irony of it all was that the characters made it a point to separate themselves from one another yet life brought them together through circumstances and although they may have thought they were vastly different from one another, their lives were in fact very similar.