21 Grams (★★★☆☆)

How much does life weigh?

Movie Poster

I wasn’t entirely sure what this movie was supposed to be about from only watching the preview. The line ‘at the exact moment of death, you lose 21 grams’ struck me as being a little bit contrived, as did the tagline - ‘how much does life weigh?’. After watching the movie it made a little bit more sense but I can’t help but think that they could have given this film a better aligned name/theme. Anyway.

The movie itself was very powerful and extremely well cast with Naomi Watts, Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro each giving their all in their respective character roles. The plot goes along the lines of 3 very separate lives that become intertwined after a horrific car accident and culminates in a dramatic sequence of events that bring on life, death and new beginnings.

The acting was first rate, I fully appreciate the Oscar nominations for all three main actors and rate Watts’s chances for the Best Actress gong. I’d like to say the same for Penn, however I’m a little too partial to Bill Murray’s performance in Lost in Translation. Put simply, if Bill Murray doesn’t take it out, Sean Penn will.

21 Grams follows a non-linear format, with each of the three sub-plots being told out of sequence. Many comments over on IMDB seem to pan this format, however I believe that it worked well to portray this story. If presented linearly, the movie would have been too close to an episode from a TV mini-series, the somwhat unusual format really worked in this instance.

Definitely recommend seeing it, the story line will leave you feeling perhaps a little knocked flat but the top-rate acting shines through to make this a strong and gripping film.