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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 ›
Film director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has developed a complex, tasty and compromised "film d'art". We may trace different stylistic influences on this movie: Quentin Tarantino's (Pulp Friction) non linear time sequence and some touches of Kieslowski's (The Double Life of Veronique) casual but most meaningful encounters between different characters.
Inarritu transforms an ordinary everyday issue in a strange, tangled and puzzling drama.
The story is as follows: there is a sick mathematician waiting for a heart transplant as last resort to survive; there is an ex-con trying to make a new clean life for him and his family; there is a family father taking care of his daughters. Tragedy and fate reunite all these elements into a griping tale.
Main actress and actors in the film perform greatly.
Sean Penn, as the feeble hearted mathematician, is able to express and transmit the anguish of nearly dying man. Afterwards he shows the compulsive need to find who his donor was.
Benicio Del Toro, as the ex-con, presents a very convincing mask of a tormented man trying to overcome his addictions and drawbacks in order to have a new opportunity.
Last but not least, Naomi Watts, as the widow of the donor, gives a performance full of subtleties.
Viewing this movie in DVD gives the unique opportunity to go back to previous scene when you get lost.
A tasty dish for movie fans. Enjoy!
Reviewed by Max Yofre.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 19 days ago by Mark C. Jones
A good quality film...interesting story...nothing that I will have special recollections of, however.Published 2 months ago by Donald Swingle
I watched this film some years ago and always wanted to have my own copy.Published 5 months ago by James T Noles
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