Posted in Cricket, Movies - General

Ashes, Katrina and Crash


Settling down in a new job is a little exciting and could be stressful too. Fortunately I have had a relatively pleasant first two weeks at my new job and yet I found the change of environment push my blogging time down my priority ladder.

Ricky Ponting certainly did not have as pleasant a time as I did the last couple of weeks or for that matter – the entire summer. An English summer he would like to forget as he hides behind his family doors down under. English cricket finally stood firm against the Aussie tirade and not only did they stand firm but actually thrust the Kangaroos to a defensive corner throughout the Ashes. As an English supporter said, “People keep saying we have beaten the best team in the world. But they are not the best team. At least not anymore”. And what a moment of triumph it ended up being for the entire country! From John Q to the Queen every part of England had the reverberating sound of Kevin Pietersen’s willow whipping. Of course Flintoff’s heroics were not far behind. To say the least, even Shane Warne’s 40 wicket haul in the midst of his yet another off-field scandal couldn’t capture the imagination of “The Times” front page editors. I just am sad that I didn’t get to see McGrath’s face or what he used to wipe it after the series.

Katrina brought so much grief to the country that her little sister Ophelia who in any other year would have caught all the bad boys’ eyes, went largely unnoticed as she passed through the Carolinas. I followed the New Orleans tragedy as it unfolded when we were in Alaska. But I have been following all the politics and finger pointing ever since. A shame on the president whose priority was to sleep in his Texas ranch to continue his vacation, than to mobilize a cabinet meeting of some sort. Then again, what else can you expect?

The rest of this write-up is going to be about a very disturbing, yet invigorating & an intelligent movie I watched yesterday. “Crash” by Paul Haggis and written by Bobby Moresco has to be one of the best movies I have seen in the past couple of years. And as someone who is interested in screenplay writing and direction, I was blown away by the complicated plot and the intricate connections between all the sub plots. Bobby Moresco says he would feel satisfied if the movie makes people talk – Talk openly about racial issues than pretending to lead normal lives in their own prejudiced worlds. Yes. The movie is all about racism and how the stereotypes that you & I are used to seeing are so out of line with reality. The plot involves LA and the lives of many characters who are strangers to one another largely, coming together. A few shocking & agonizing moments bring some characters with some other. In the end, you can actually link every single character to every other character in some way or form even though those characters never came together in the movie.

The cast is simply powerful. There is Sandra Bullock (even though the movie is touted to be a Sandra Bullock movie, she hardly has about 15 minutes of screen time) playing an ever angry wife of the District Attorney (Brendan Fraser). There is Don Cheadle, a black cop struggling between the emotions of his drug addict mother and his runaway crook brother. Matt Dillon, Ryan Philippe and a whole line of talented actors took up this project. The spinal chord of the movie is racism and the director & writer make no apologies about filling the movie with some hatred filled, remorseful dialogues. Hence for the same reason, the movie may not be to the liking of any faint-hearted audience. There are racist lines sprinkled abundantly throughout the movie on Asians, Mexicans, Blacks, Whites and even Arabs and what makes them work is the fact that they give you chills. By the end of the movie, the characters who you hated to begin with end up getting some sympathies from you and some characters who you admired end up losing their respect with you.

But why “Crash”? – Don Cheadle says in the beginning of the movie how life in LA is boxed in metal & glass coupes (cars) and it lacks the physical touch that you see as people brush past you in busy city streets. Only a crash brings people together. Anyway, if you feel a little incomplete after watching the movie then that’s because there is no real conclusion of the story. The director/writer preferred to write about a series of incidents and have left the rest to the viewers.

So if you ever get a chance to watch this movie, do it – I am sure you will be blown away by the stark reality of this deep issue.

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Author:

Besides fantasizing about being a Peter Gibbons at least for a couple of days at my work, I think I have a long way to go to realize some of the other fantasies. But like any ambitious man out there, I will get there! Note: All views expressed in this blog are mine alone and have got nothing to do with my company Cogent IBS, Inc., its employees or any of its affiliates.

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