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The emotionally and physically charged lives of three people, a college professor (Sean Penn), an ex-con (Benicio Del Toro) and a young mother with a reckless past (Naomi Watts), collide unexpectedly in this gripping suspense thriller. Fate brought them together. Now vengeance will take them to the heights of love, the depths of revenge and the promise of redemption. Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro and Naomi Watts give the finest performances of their careers in the film that is "tantalizingly alive!" (Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)
Top Customer Reviews
To counteract the severely intense, tragic film we watched Leno's monolog about half-way through and, after the movie was over, Seinfeld Season Five's "The Marine Biologist." Even with humor during and after, we still went to bed feeling depressed.
This is not a film for the faint of heart (or even faint of mind). It requires one to suspend all hope and pay attention to the slow, choppy unfolding of the story.
As others have noted, this film unravels in a distinctly non-linear fashion -- story lines overlapping, backing up, coming at you from the past (or the future - hard to say which), all interspersed to tell the tale of three couples whose lives intersect in tragic, unexpected ways. (Remember Memento? This film owes a lot to that ground-breaking effort.)
Death, drugs, tragedy, sex, hopelessnes, spiritual and emotional devastation -- all these themes and images are pounded into the viewer from people whose lives have forever fallen apart.
Sean Penn is riveting, as usual. But so are Benicio Del Toro and Naomi Watts (who, I think, turned in the performance of her career).
All I could think about while I watched the movie was this: Life turns on a dime. At any given moment, my life could take a turn like the lives of these characters. Many lives take that turn every single day, and the downward spiral begins. That fear of sudden devastation chilled me to the bone the whole time I watched film. So, in effect, even though this isn't a traditional thriller or horror movie, it still scared the hell out of me.
I'm not sure this is the kind of movie I'll be able to watch again. But I'm definitely sure it's one I'll never be able to forget.
21 grams is a deep movie and will require the watcher's full attention. It won't all make sense until the end because of the way that it is formatted. The movie is so original because it throws random scenes at the screen. One might be from the past..one from the future..etc.. For example, one scene you see Benicio Del Torro in prison, the next in a church, the next as a construcion worker. One scene you see Sean Penn bleeding to death, the next smoking, the next driving his car. Now that's what is so original and genius about the movie...it makes you open your mind and the scipt is brilliantly conceived.
You will be scratching your head at times and be like "what is going on?" because the movie's goal is to connect all of these scenes in the end. It makes you watching till the wonderful conclusion.
There is no need in talking about the plot because that was something that I enjoyed discovering on my own during the movie. It includes vengeance, tragedies, life and death, and change. Some characters go from being happy to depressed and drug users; others change from violent to religious; others go from dying to being saved.
The movie has cruel ironies a plenty and the movie is so powerful that you will be thinking about it for a while. Everything in this movie has a message and a point so pay attention.
21 grams is one of the best movies out there..as well as one of the most tragic. It is a must see and can be comapred to the movie Crash. But 21 grams is a better movie for many reasons.Read more ›
Inarritu enlists the intelligence of his audience and what a partnership that creates! His "style" is called non-linear which merely means that the story of the film is not spoon fed to us in a "this happens, then this resulted, then this altered, then this happened" etc fashion. Inarritu takes advantage of the fact that visual images can hold so much power that the story behind them seems secondary at the moment of viewing only to alert us to THINK as we see bits and pieces of history and result dangling from a mobile, ever in motion. We are led to believe one thing depending on how we relate to the image on the screen, and then we are shown that we misjudged that event as we are given more detail from the past and from the future.
While this technique may sound difficult to follow, Inarritu uses it with such facility that learning the true story being told is similar to the way we are running through life: we see fragments, remember tiny moments, watch the media alter variations of reporting reality, hear gossip, view events with prejudiced eyes, form opinions based on our individual experiences with like events in our own lives, or in other words always be faced with the question of what are the drivers of accidents/fate/destiny/need/passion.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lousy. I thought it would be in color from the advertising. About 2/3 (estimate) the way through the movie the picture broke up and the sound was garbled or silent. Read morePublished 27 days ago by John Homer
This movie exemplifies the lives of those who are not wealthy, but who are trying to find their way in this difficult world, and fail. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Douglas Benoit
Naomi Watts and Benecio del Toro turn in standout performances. Their Oscar-nominated performances didn't win the Oscar, but it hardly matters. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mark C. Jones
A good quality film...interesting story...nothing that I will have special recollections of, however.Published 6 months ago by Donald Swingle
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