Viewed – 04 February 2011 Blu-ray
Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu certainly impressed me with his multi-layers, emotionally draining drama 21 Grams. Intelligently plotted, unconventional and with powerhouse performances from its lead actors. So naturally I was curious as to what made his name in the first place, and so here we have a tough, complex drama following three groups of people and how their live’s become interconnected following a horrific car crash.
Shot with a gritty realism, this is a clever, absorbing tale of love, loss and redemption on the harsh streets of Mexico city. Like 21 Grams this is powerful stuff that pulls no punches when tackling difficult subjects such as dog fighting, infidelity and death. Alexandro’s direction again is faultless, skillfully blending the fractured narratives in a way Tarantino could only dream of, and creating an experience that’s difficult to take your eyes off – even when it gets violent and brutal. Each actor gives powerful, emotional turns, with a special mention to Emilio Echevarria as hitman El Chivo whose journey and character arc is nothing short of heart-breaking. In comparison to 21 Grams I found it offered much less sympathy for its characters and wasn’t quite as effecting overall, but considering this was the director’s debut – it’s nothing short of remarkable.
The scenes of bloody dog-fighting will divide audiences I’m sure, but for me, the acting and the overal emotional intensity makes this a strong recommendation.
Verdict: 4 /5
- Mexican director honored by ‘Biutiful’ Oscar nod (foxnews.com)
- Alejandro González Iñárritu interview for Buitiful (telegraph.co.uk)