Race is the unspoken character in the movie as it plays a more important role than any of the actors. It’s so big and important that it almost draws away from what’s going on in the movie. The audience gets so obsessed with the racial tension and the unspoken feelings that we tend to lose the message of Paul Haggis’s script. There are many messages to the film as you can imagine but the general idea is we are all created equal despite our general differences. Or something like that.
As much as I enjoyed Hollywood tackling a complex issue, I have to admit that I didn’t love this movie as much as many of my counterparts. I felt it tried to juggle too many things at once and ultimately fell short of its goal. The everyday hardships that even one particular race goes through can’t be justly represented in a two hour movie, let alone the hardships of every race. Somehow I get this nagging feeling that Mr. Haggis was pressured to keep his movie around the two hour mark and therefore had to cut certain aspects of his script. I think the movie would have been better off by removing certain characters and focusing on a select few. With that said, I still enjoyed the film and I have the utmost respect for what Paul Haggis wanted to accomplish.
Commentary with director/writer Paul Haggis, producer/actor Don Cheadle, and writer Bobby Moresco: This is a good commentary by three guys that are proud of what they accomplished. They talk about the problems they faced getting it made and the reactions executives had to a racially driven movie.
DVD introduction by Director Paul Haggis (:17): Paul thanking you for watching his movie.
Behind the scenes (10:08): Fluff piece trying to sell the movie to you after you’ve bought it.
There are also Trailers and a Music Video which didn’t do much for me.