Study Guide

Crash Farhad (Shaun Toub)

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Farhad (Shaun Toub)

Mall Madness

Farhad is a Persian shopkeeper with anger management issues. When we first meet him, he's buying a gun to defend his shop. He has a reason to: the shop has been vandalized multiple times. But Farhad decides to take his anger out on the wrong person. He shoots his gun at Ruiz the locksmith after a misunderstanding.

Maybe "Farhad" is Farsi for "misplaced anger"? Okay, maybe not. But Crash is a film full of misplaced anger, and Farhad is the poster child. When Ruiz tells him that the lock on his door isn't the problem, the door is, Farhad gets angry. He thinks Ruiz didn't fix the lock on purpose, leaving him vulnerable to be robbed.

There are so many problems with Farhad's logic that we don't know where to start. First, there's the language issue. When we first see Farhad and his daughter, Dorri, in the gun shop, they are speaking Farsi to one another, subtitled in English. But for the rest of the film, Farhad and his family speak English to each other. Why would they speak Farsi in public, in front of a clearly racist gun shop owner, yet speak English in private?

If Farhad speaks English to his family, why can't he understand basic concepts like "lock" and "door"? Unable to comprehend, Farhad doesn't try to peacefully understand. He gets angry. It's difficult to sympathize with him, because, as an adult, he should know better. But we'll try.

To be fair, the guy's situation is scary. His shop is being targeted because of his race. Well, actually, his shop is being targeting because the criminals think he's an Arab, spray-painting "Towelhead" and other slurs on the walls. Perhaps all Middle Eastern people are the same to these guys, but still, you'd think they could at least get it right if they're going to be haters.

MRS. FARHAD: They think we're Arab. When did Persian become Arab?

No one in this movie seems to be very smart, Farhad included. Farhad's shop is vandalized by ignorant idiots who have the wrong target. In his own ignorance, Farhad then lashes out at the wrong target. This isn't just a race issue. It's a stupidity and anger issue.

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