"21 Grams" is a movie and a half for sure! This film definitely has to play for a few minutes to get the hang of it's direction. You start off watching 3 different lives going in different directions before you realize that they are all running parallel with each other at different intervals. Yeah, I know it's a mouthful, but once you get your head around the presentation, it's a smooth flow. Benicio del Toro and Sean Penn are the two main actors bearing the heavy load of 21 grams.
So what does an ex-con, one drugged out blond and a dying man all have in common? Well, that's what the movie unravels in approximately 2 solid hours of film. I believe a shorter cut of this movie would have been acceptable, but the director obviously had his reasons for it's lengthy ascension.
Benicio stars as Jack Jordon, an ex-con that has have turned his life over to "God". While, Penn takes the wheel as Paul Rivers, a dying man that wants a second chance at living a full life.
Upon digging into the film, we discover that an intersection of significant impact must occur for these 3 stories to fold into each other. The fold isn't something that we're not used to seeing, but what happens after the fold is what gives the movie a different feel. Most of the time when you have a movie with this dark of a context, there are a few rays of sunshine. Welp, don't want to disappoint you, but "21 Grams" is not a happy film. There is a lot of grim lighting and heavy dialogue in this film, mainly because you have to very serious actors, Toro and Penn.
Now Benicio and Sean are two quality actors, but it would have been nice to them together in a film that had a little more action. Just my opinion, not the gospel(lol). This movie came out in '03 and has won several awards and rave reviews within the indie film world. Multi-linear seems to be the word of the day for Alejandro Inarritu, but here at Unhinged we're not going to say 21 grams is his best work. I will say great job on separating the story, but next time let's try to focus on the content and less of the technical skill. "21 Grams" is definitely not the movie that you must run out and see, but it's a pic to watch when you've got a good two hours to kill.
One of standout features for me in "21 Grams" is how Jack struggles with the film's catastrophic events and does a lot of soul searching because of it. It's always nice to see another human do some deep thinking to analyze their position in the grand scheme of things. So in short, if you haven't seen 21 grams your not missing too much, but if you want to break out the scotch tape and piece together a movie, look no further. Unhinged Reviews recommends this film for people with more than 1.5hrs to kill and lovers of some good Penn or Toro.
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