Saturday, 10 December 2011

Film Review: 21 GRAMS (2003)

21 Grams - poster Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Writer (Screenplay): Guillermo Arriaga
Running time: 124 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Drama
UK Release date: 4th March 2004

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 10th December 2011.


This film has touched many lives buts sadly not mine. This is the second time I’ve seen it and I must say it still hasn’t gripped me in the way is has many. I can see how it might, it’s a very touching story, but I guess I find it hard to sympathise, in particular, with Sean Penn’s character. I will explain after this very brief summary.

21 Grams - 3 A group of seemingly unrelated people are brought together by a tragic accident. A man with a heart condition, Paul Rivers, is given new heart and he seeks out the family of the person that donated it. It turns out the donor was the victim of a hit-and-run accident that took both him and his two daughters. Rivers finds his wife, Cristina Peck, and together they decide to seek out the man responsible for the accident. He was called Jack Jordan, a religious man who had given himself up and had served time for this deed. His wife had hired a lawyer and got him out early. What will happen when these three collide? Well, I really can’t tell you here or the Spoiler Police will be having me up for jaywalking or some other trumped-up charge.

21 Grams - 4 There is much I missed out of my summary, but that’s the gist of it. I must admit I did find it quite confusing to watch at first because the action jumps from one point in time to another and from one set of characters to another; this makes it all pretty intense. Great performances from both Sean Penn as Paul Rivers and Naomi Watts as Cristina Peck, they both deserved all the praise they got! Also worthy of note was Benicio Del Toro as Jack Jordan, he really nailed it too! I will also give honourable mentions to Charlotte Gainsbourg as Mary Rivers, Eddie Marsan as Reverend John and Melissa Leo as Marianne Jordan.

21 Grams - 1 I mentioned at the beginning that I had a problem with Sean Penn’s character, Paul Rivers, well, for a man who has had a heart transplant, he seems to have a death wish. Not only a death wish, but absolutely no respect for the person whose heart he now carries. What makes me believe this? Well, he spends much of the film smoking and drinking which; and I’ll be very pleased if someone can tell me otherwise so I can take up the evil weed again; is really not what anyone would recommend, particularly for a heart transplant recipient. He is so self involved that he doesn’t see that he’s killing himself all over again… Sorry, but no respect for him! Aside from that, I found this film very intense and quite compelling at times. I’m sure there are many that liked it more than me, but it still I deem it… Recommended.

My score: 7.0/10.

IMDb Score: 7.8/10 (based on 97,983 votes at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 81/100 (based on 175 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 83/100 (based on 186,068 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).

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[after waking up in the emergency room]
Paul Rivers: So this is death's waiting room.

Jack Jordan: God knows when a single hair moves on your head.

Paul Rivers: You shouldn't have done it.
Jack Jordan: Done what?
Paul Rivers: [shouting] You shouldn't have done it!

Paul Rivers: There are so many things that have to happen for two people to meet.

21 Grams - 5 LINKS:
Official Site:

1 comment:

Rodders said...

i've never actually heard of this one, but it sounds a bit interesting and I may check this out if it's on telly, great review. and you are right, smoking and drinking aren't good for the heart