After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they pr... Read allAfter getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.
A sexually frustrated couple starts experimenting with the outlines of anonymous sex. It is the husband James Ballard (James Spader) who gets into a car crash with Dr. Ellen Remington (Holly Hunter) and her husband. They crash frontally and both Ballard and Remington are seriously injured. Remington's husband dies while being launched from his seat through his own windshield into Ballards. Ballard ends up in the hospital, traumatized, trying to recover from his injuries. He gets into deeper contact with Helen Remington. Their mutual Crash-victim status brings them closer together, ultimately delivering them into the sump-oil-soaked world of the pathological Vaughan (Elias Koteas). Renegade scientist and leader of a strange subterranean group, Vaughan is only able to achieve sexual release by crashing into people on the motorways surrounding Heathrow airport. Getting sucked into his world, Ballard becomes obsessed with car crashes, and dives into the illegal world of "thrill seeking" and raw and hard (but mostly cold) sex.
To be quiet honest "Crash" is a very underestimated picture. First of all there are a serious amount of people who thought that the subject was laughable, and not to be taken serious, for how could you take something like this serious ?
After crashing your car and being injured, having sex with the victim of a car-crash ?
Apart from the post-traumatic stress that can appear after such an incident it also triggers a lot of adrenaline, which is almost a self produced drug. Cronenberg cuts a subject which is still very much of a taboo, the "thrill seeking taboo". You got a lot of so called thrill seekers now these days, which can result into ghost riding on the freeway, climbing on buildings without security etc. All in all the thrill seek element isn't that original.
This is where Cronenberg has looked for a thrill that rushes into a perverse sexual outburst. After the shock of crashing into a car, the adrenaline, the rush of the experience becomes so real, you feel so alive that you need to let it all out, which comes into the act of "making love". Cronenberg is trying to paint the audience a picture of an event like this.
Based on J.G. Ballards novel "Crash" which was quiet detached and cold, the director follows in style with the dark freeways of Canada, showing that even in your car you are not always save, and how a car can become the ultimate "drive" for pleasure. The problem with this film (like many others) is that it is so far out there that you either hate it or love it. The pacing is rather slow in the beginning and its hard to get into, if you don't understand the psychology that lies underneath the dialog. The movie has a solid script but the subject and material is not accessible for everybody. James Spader who often (he almost could be a stereotype) plays sexual frustrated protagonists ("Sex,Lies,and Videotapes", "Secretary", "Speaking of Sex") delivers a terrific performance here. His distant and alienated acting fits perfectly into the dark en and sensual story, and doesn't come as a insincere or "over the top". Some people felt that Koteas and Hunter performances where a little flat, but they have just the balance between low key and an over the top performance (Koteas more than Hunter). You got to keep in mind that these people are already deranged from the beginning. What you see is simply a drop falling into bucket that is overflowing.
The use of light and shadow is very subtle and excellently done by cinematographer Peter Suschitzky. He really knows how to pull you into a certain world, that LOOKS like ours but feels very different. In any case I can recommend the movie if you want to watch something different. A lot of people will not understand the weight this film carries, and therefore this movie will be underrated, or simply will be put aside as boring or unrealistic. THIS IS A MISTAKE,... don't put it away, watch it, and feel the awkwardness. The result ?
"Humans really are quiet weird creatures..."
- Mar 13, 2006