I wouldn’t say that 21 Grams by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has changed my life, for I doubt that such a thing can be said about any work of art, but at least, it made me think about it for quite some time and, although it has been several years since I watched it, I still remember the plot vividly, as well as the general impression it had upon me – that of very sad and very disturbed brilliancy.
21 Grams tells the story of three people who seemingly have nothing to do with each other but, as it turns out, they all are brought together by a tragedy that changed the lives of them all. It starts as three unrelated novellas but, as the plot progresses, the three plotlines are brought closer together, leading to extremely painful, almost cathartic, climax.
All three main characters are presented in the state of confusion and despair; all three of them have almost recovered from something bad that happened with them in the past, only to be hit by a new grief. In order to underline this confusion and chaos in thoughts, Inarritu uses non-linear arrangement of scenes: all three stories are cut into small pieces, which are shuffled chaotically, showing fragments of lives of these three people, mixing the past, present and future episodes, so what happens when remains unclear until the very end, and even then the viewer cannot be completely sure, for even life and death of characters remains unexplained.
This movie made a very lasting impression upon me. And I think it is almost all we can expect of a movie, even an extremely good one.