...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

April 08, 2006

21 Grams - 7

A great film that is less plot driven and more about what it means to be human. It explores emotional and psychological reactions to the things that happen in our lives. A car accident and a heart transplant bring the three characters together in a crazy climax through out the film. The scenes do not come in chronological order, but is coherent enough for the viewer to follow what is happening and what is going to happen. The mystery that keep one watching is trying to figure out how the connection takes place. The title and theme of the film are summed up in the narration at the end of the film by Paul: "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?" Another theme is the relationship between death, life's meaning, and belief. All of the characters are looking for reason, order, coherence in the events of their life. The film ends with each character realizing that life often times is more about the doubt of questions than the surety of answers. A very thoughtful film.
This film was directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and written by Guillermo Arriaga. They were also behind the film Amores Perros, which I recommend seeing. They are both now working on the film Babel, which is suppose to come out later this year. The intensity of the roles in this film show Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, and Benicio Del Toro acting at their best.

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