Directed by: Alejandro G. Inarritu, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Carly Nahon, Danny Huston, Naomi Watts, Sean Penn
Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Question: Why is the movie called 21 grams?
Chosen answer: It's called this because supposedly at the time of death everyone loses 21 grams of body weight. Sean Penn's character does a monologue near the end of the movie that goes into this theory.
Answer: The title refers to an experiment in 1907 which attempted to show scientific proof of the existence of the soul by recording a loss of body weight (said to represent the departure of the soul) immediately following death. Referred to as the 21 grams experiment as one subject lost "three-fourths of an ounce" (21.3 grams), the experiment is regarded by the scientific community as flawed and unreliable, though it has been credited with popularizing the concept that the soul weighs 21 grams. (Wikipedia).
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Paul Rivers: We've been a fraud for a long time, Mary.
When Sean Penn is outside the motel with the gun, he fires three shots past Benicio Del Toro's head into the ground behind. When Benicio falls to the ground you can see an ear plug in his left ear.
The experiment that showed that humans lose 21 grams at the moment of death were later shown to be highly flawed. The entire experiment was based on only four people. Only the first subject actually lost 21 grams. Another person lost a different weight, and the other two died before they could be properly weighed.