I recently re-watched 21 Grams, the 2003 movie from Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who also directed Amores Perro. The film is an intense look at the accidental meeting of three individuals by way of terrible circumstances. Cristina Peck (Naomi Watts) is a happily married mother of two. When her entire family dies by way of born-again Christian Jack Jordan (Benicio Del Toro), Cristina has the tough decision of deciding whether or not to donate her husband’s heart. That’s where dying professor Paul Rivers (Sean Penn) steps in.
The movie played out in a very fragmented way. It kept going back and forth between present, future and past. It was sort of hard to follow at first, but eventually everything comes together for the viewer. The three main characters were sympathetic because they had to deal with extremely mature situations. And like most people they were susceptible to bad things, i.e. drug abuse, strained relationships, criminal pasts, etc. The pace was also very slow.
Naomi Watts did a great job showing the struggle that comes from losing a spouse. When is it okay to move on and start new relationships? She showed that it’s all dependent on the person. Cristina starts abusing drugs as a way to cope with losing her family. Sean Penn’s character also went through a lot of struggle. He’s going through some sort of cancer and needs a heart transplant. He’s still destructive though and continues to smoke despite being so close to death. Usually I love watching Del Toro in any of his films. But his character was tough to watch. He was a complete abusive jerk even though he claimed to be ‘religious.’
Overall, I would recommend this movie to people who enjoyed the likes of Mystic River, Spun, Memento. The movie wasn’t too confusing and dealt with very similar themes to the others listed. The movie showed that it’s common for people to having problems coping when bad things happen, and give into their vices before slowly rebuilding.