The second feature from director Alejandro González Iñárritu, and follow-up to his acclaimed debut Amores Perros, 21 Grams - a reference to the supposed amount of weight a person loses at the exact moment of death - is an intricately woven tale of life, death, love and revenge.
When Cristina Peck (Naomi Watts) loses her husband and her two daughters to a hit and run accident, her life is torn to shreds. Also torn to shreds is the life of Jack Jordan (Benicio Del Toro), the driver responsible for the accident. Jordan is a God fearing man, devoted to the church and determined to raise his family with the same values he holds dear. However, the blows that life continue to deal him test his faith to the limit, and the accident proves to be the final straw.
As with Amores Perros, the time-frame of 21 Grams flits backwards and forwards, something which is no mean feat and could easily result in nothing more than confusion. In the hands of Alejandro González Iñárritu, however, it is handled masterfully. There are three or four threads of the story being thrown at the viewer at the same time, but this merely leads to a heightened sense of intrigue rather than confusion, and lends the film a pace which is pitch-perfect.
21 Grams is an intense, affecting and absorbing film, wonderfully constructed and handled by Alejandro González Iñárritu and full of first class performances. Film making at its finest . . .