Sunday, November 05, 2006


21 GRAMS (2003, USA, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, wr Guillermo Arriaga)
They say we all lose 21 grams at the exact moment of our death. Everyone. The weight of a stack of five nickels. The weight of a chocolate bar. The weight of a hummingbird...

If only it lived up to that tagline, which is pretty much just tagged on to this grim and gripping story of a terrible accident and subsequent vengeance. The scrambled chronology may be nothing but flashy clothes to camouflage a threadbare emperor of a plot that's mostly hysteria and melodrama – but those clothes are flashy indeed, and the performances potent. Benicio Del Toro plays a messed up ex-con who clings to salvation with frightening desperation, his street-church pastor powerless to intervene when it all starts to spin out of control. Does the film bluntly say that Jesus just doesn't work? Or is it an unflinching portrait of a man who is mostly and habitually lost, clawing his way to prove himself at least a little less lost?


Available at Videomatica

Further reflections here

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