Friday, July 29, 2005

Reorganizing: 21 Grams

Instead of packing or cleaning*, I watched 21 Grams.

I have been ruined by watching way too many movies with a twist at the end, so I ended up disappointed that there wasn't one. Sure, there were plot points that weren't revealed until the end, but no big "HA HA HA! Tricked you all!" type of thing, like there was in Sixth Sense.

I am a sucker for books where the author gives the reader explicit control over the narration. When I was a little kid, I loved Choose You Own Adventure books. I have become a pest in forcing my friends to read Landscape Painted With Tea by Milorad Pavic and Julio Cortázar's Hopscotch -- both of which are non-linear novels. (I do not even want to think about the large number of bad papers that I have written about Hopscotch; probably the least bad of them related the novel to the Borges story "The Garden of the Forking Paths" and to the Greek myth of Ariadne's thread.) So when this movie presented the viewer with seemingly unrelated scenes out of chronological order, I was happy to start constructing my own narrative. However, I was disappointed that the writer's narrative differed from mine in so many ways.

Given a choice, I would have had Paul and Christina meet while Paul was separated from his wife -- before he was sick -- and had them reunited after his transplant. Similarly, I would have had some of the scenes of Jack's time in jail be from the past, from before he was "saved."

Overall it was a good movie, but I think I would have liked it better in a more non-linear medium.


*My mother has some bizarre rule about how before you leave town you have to clean so that you don't come home to a dirty house. I realize that this makes no sense because I come home to a dirty house EVERY DAY because I NEVER CLEAN. (I would estimate that I spend considerably less than an hour a week on housework -- most of that is devoted to loading and unloading the dishwasher.) Good thing my mom doesn't live here, huh?