21 Gramm (2003)

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21 Gramm: Directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. With Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Danny Huston, Carly Nahon. A freak accident brings together a critically ill mathematician, a grieving mother, and a born-again ex-con.

“u0026#39;21 Gramsu0026#39; tells of a number of loosely interlinked characters in an achronological fashion, jumping backwards and forwards over their stories. There can be reasons for doing this: for example, to reveal the plot in a way that offers an extra kick, or to enable the plot to conclude with a scene from the middle of the story that gains impact from the vieweru0026#39;s prior acquaintance with what happens next. Quentin Tarantinou0026#39;s u0026#39;Pulp Fictionu0026#39; justified its own complex plot structure on both of these grounds. But in the case of this film, I couldnu0026#39;t see how telling the story in such a broken way was supposed to add anything; and the fact that most of the leading characters possess a death wish (or at least, very little will to go on living) hardly aided my emotional involvement. At times, the film appeared to be shaping into a story about the possibility (or otherwise) of redemption; but it never quite grew into anything more the harrowing tale of a number of people who suffer and (in some cases) die. The pretentious voice-over from Sean Pennu0026#39;s character that ends the film (and accounts for its title) felt to me like a desperate (and failed) attempt to inject some meaning into a movie strangely devoid of it.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThat said, the acting is good, and the film is undoubtedly skilfully made. But u0026quot;people dieu0026quot; is not, in itself, an adequate or interesting unifying theme.”


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