Preview by: Jack Foley
ONE of the films of this year's London Film Festival could well
prove to be 21 Grams, the star-studded follow-up movie from Amores
Perros director, Alejandro González Iñárritu.
The much-anticipated second film from the Mexican director will
play at the festival on October 31 and November 1, at the Odeon
West End, and has already gone down a storm at the Venice Film
Festival, where it won Sean Penn the best actor award.
It co-stars Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro and encapsulates
many of the same themes that made Amores Peros so powerful, such
as life, death, guilt, redemption and paints them large.
21 Grams alludes to the amount of weight supposedly lost by
each person at the time of death, which some believe is a consequence
of the soul leaving the body.
This link between the spiritual and the physical is the driving
force in this powerful story of three intersecting lives, which
was written by Amores Perros screenwriter, Guillermo Arriaga.
A tragic incident sparks the tinder, bringing together a terminally
ill mathematics professor (Penn), a single mother battling her
grief and addictions (Watts), and an ex-con in search of redemption
The London Film Festival describes the movie as 'technically
exhilarating', noting that it is 'shot with an immediacy and rawness
that grips from the opening frames'.
It also notes that it is structurally complex, moving boldly
backwards and forwards through time, and jumping between narratives
and trusting the audience to keep up.
"Remarkably, the film has as much substance as it has style,
its devastating emotional charge carried by the three extraordinary
"Adventurous, uncompromising film-making, demanding viewing,
and destined to be one of the most talked about films of the Festival,"
Better yet is the view of Hollywood Reporter, which stated that
21 Grams 'knocks you out with an astonishing blend of hyper-realism,
visual complexity and powerful themes'.
The film isn't due for a US release until November, so the London
screenings are a treat to be savoured.