"How many lives do we live? How many times do we die? They say we all lose 21 grams... at the exact moment of our death. Everyone. And how much fits into 21 grams? How much is lost? When do we lose 21 grams? How much goes with them? How much is gained? How much is gained? Twenty-one grams. The weight of a stack of five nickels. The weight of a hummingbird. A chocolate bar. How much did 21 grams weigh?"
21 Grams is an intense and expressive film that has left me astonished and in complete awe of it's ability to keep the viewer compelled for it's entirety? this is a film that certainly can't be ignored.
21 Grams tells a tragic story that is both riveting and gripping from the very moment it begins. It starts with even slight confusion and with a mystifying atmosphere, but as the film goes on it begins to unfold and we see truly what this has to offer. The story is one of tragedy, death, guilt and overall redemption and forgiveness. It centers around three characters, which all eventually coincide with each other, both for better and worse. One of these characters is Paul Rivers, an ill heart transplant patent with corruption both with his health and his relationship with his partner. Another is Cristina Peck, a brokenhearted wife and mother of a tragic accident, with confusion throughout her life. The final character in which this alluring film is centering around is Jack Jordan, an ex-con that was part of an event that changed and impacted his life. When these three come together questions are answered and more arise, as we gradually find out more about these people and their past, and what has brought them together.
One of the main elements that I loved in 21 Grams was the capability it had to keep the viewer transfixed within the story, without entirely knowing what is going on at any one time. It offers a rare style that is not tried frequently enough, by retelling the story using only small clips at a time, ranging from the end to the beginning to the middle and randomly back again... this in itself made the film unique and incomparable to any other in it's league. With all of this going on, it still manages to keep a fast pace and an intriguing style. The ending was one to leave the viewer in complete awe. It was profound and deep beyond many other films I have seen before, making 21 Grams stand out and impress even more.
Alejandro González Iñárritu gave this film the clever, expressive and riveting direction that it needed to achieve its high standard. He have an insightful view on the characters, and attained the strong and transfixing style of un-chronological order which has defined this film. The always breathtaking and arousing direction made 21 Grams a film that I am incredibly happy to have seen. Through the range of emotions that this film delivered, at any one moment I didn't even consider the possibility of not being entertained.
The soundtrack also added to the momentous and potent feeling of the overall film, making it even more of a significant experience.
Sean Penn was incredible and absolutely a lot better than anyone else imaginable for the same role. He delivered a powerful performance full of emotion and to the extent that I rarely ever see in films. He gave the whole film a lot deeper and more gripping meaning, certainly satisfying any viewer. Naomi Watts was also amazing for her role. She gave the tremendous ability to change from different emotions in short spaces of time. She showed many different feelings coming from her character, and therefore gave a strong sense of expression and passion at any one time. Benicio Del Toro's performance was incomparable... he was gripping and exhilarating, adding to the overall feel of the film and the diversity of characters. Charlotte Gainsbourg contributed extensively even for her smaller role, giving a transfixing and strong performance. Melissa Leo, Clea DuVall and Eddie Marsan were better than average, but didn't have the ability to keep the viewer as allured as other actors do.
Overall, 21 Grams is an enthralling and incredibly intense film that I strongly recommend to anyone interested. Full of gripping performances, a potent and poignant story, masterful directing and a moving and profound message... this is one that simply cannot be missed.