21 Grams (2003)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama, Thriller


21 Grams (2003) Poster

A freak accident brings together a critically ill mathematician, a grieving mother, and a born-again ex-con.


7.7/10
214,464

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  • Melissa Leo in 21 Grams (2003)
  • Melissa Leo in 21 Grams (2003)
  • Benicio Del Toro and Melissa Leo in 21 Grams (2003)
  • Alejandro G. Iñárritu in 21 Grams (2003)
  • Benicio Del Toro in 21 Grams (2003)
  • Melissa Leo in 21 Grams (2003)

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20 December 2004 | HardKnockLife210
9
| A Small Taste of Tragedy and Beauty
When lives collide, often no one is around to witness the effects of the collision. Alejandro González Iñárritu, however, has captured the profound effects in 21 Grams. How much does life weigh? Iñárritu may not answer that question directly, but he does indirectly answer the question darkly and beautifully in 21 Grams.

21 Grams tells the story of three lives brought together by tragedy: the life of a very sick man (Penn), a mother who has lost much (Watts), and a Christian who has recently reformed his ways (Del Toro). Really, these characters and their once-"simple" lives are the focus of this film, and all three characters are mysterious and deep. Each of the three actors gives an excellent performance, but it is Watts who stands out in all her angst. All of them deserved Academy Award nominations, and Penn would've received one along with Watts and Del Toro if not for his incredible performance in Mystic River.

Arriaga's screenplay is incredible too, leaving the outcome inexplicable enough to be real and to make sense. Santaolalla's score is odd enough to fit the dark atmosphere that pervades the film, and stick around for the credits to hear Dave Matthews' fitting conclusion. Also, Prieto's and Procopio's cinematography is gritty enough to depict the unbearable anguish of the characters.

I would praise the direction as well, except that I do have one complaint regarding it. It is often so choppy and irregular that it causes the story to lose a tiny bit of its impact. Perhaps this choppiness fits the film too, but to me it was distracting.

Yet you should definitely check this one out for a sorrowful picture of torment, disgust, and a strange beauty.

Final Grade: A.

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