The first film in Director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ‘death’ trilogy (followed by 21 Grams and
Babel) is a
sombre and at times difficult to watch drama set in around the themes of class,
loyalty and cruelty. The film is constructed via three interlocking stories
which come together by means of a car crash. The film is non-linear and dips
from one story to the next, slowly building up a picture as to how and where
each character fits into the wider story. Mexico City
Octavio (Gael Garcia Bernal) uses his brother’s dog to make money in organised dog fights and is in love with his brother’s pregnant wife Susana (Vanessa Bauche). One day he and a friend are being chased by crooks when he crashes his car into another, being driven by the model and actress Valeria (Goya Toledo) who is in the midst of an affair with Daniel (Alvaro Guerrero), a married magazine publisher. At the scene of the crash is a down and out, vagrant man ‘El Chivo’ (Emilio Echevarria) who pushes a scrap metal cart around but hides a deeply hidden and cheerless past. The three strands only come together for the car crash scene, colliding like three marbles before being spun into differing trajectories. The film had me gripped from start to finish but left me wanting more from at least two of the three strands.