The Greatest films of all time: 84. Amores Perros (2000)/21 Grams (2003)/Babel (2006) (Mexico/USA/Japan)


Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu of Mexico made the above three films that are considered by some a “Trilogy of Death”, each three years apart. At age 37 in his debut feature, “Amores Perros” he was as a thunder known to the world, specially the western society and Hollywood that invested in his second part of the trilogy, “21 grams” in 2003, employing popular American cast, Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and only a Mexican, Benicio del Toro with a budget of $20 million vs. the meager Mexican budget of $ 2.4 million for Amores Perros, the film made a sales profit 3 times more of $60 million. Then in third part of trilogy “Babel” in 2006 again invested by Hollywood and Japanese with again $20 million budget, starring famous American and Japanese cast, Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Koji Yakuso and Rinko Kikuchi, and the only Mexican Gael Garcia Bernal, the film made almost 7 times sales profit of $135 million.    


Although there is a theme of death in three films of Inarritu’s trilogy, and the first part title in original Mexican is translated as “Love’s a Bitch”, each three parts and the whole trilogy has a more important central theme that is “Life’s a Bitch” or in a better word, “Life is unfair”. So instead of one film, all Innaritu’s trilogy has been included in our list of the greatest films of all time as one film due to this strong philosophical, sociological or psychological theme or an unfortunate fact of life. The three films were put together here also as none alone could reach the greatest level, but all together did. Moreover each of the above three films are in fact a trilogy or three parts or three folded in itself. In Amores Perros, the lives of three couples Octavio and Susana, Daniel and Valeria, & El Chive and Maru are interconnected with a car crash and also a dog. In 21 Grams, again the lives of three characters, Jack, Paul and Cristina are tied together by a hit-and-run car accident and drug addiction. In the final chapter of the trilogy, Babel, Innaritu goes beyond a specific geographical zone and in this time the interlink of the main theme is not just between characters, but different nationalities in Morocco, US/Mexico, and Japan, and between the three couple characters of Susan and Richards, Amelia and Santiago, Chieko and Yasujiro Wataya.

As alluded to the Innaritu’s trilogy that could be called “Life’s a Bitch” or “Life’s unfair” has a pessimistic but in a way realistic view on life that accident and sudden death happens unfairly to some universally around the world. In certain of these situations, people or victims may interconnect, but even if no there is no physical or personal connection, these kinds of misfortunes are universals and shared by the a common human soul. No filmmakers has depicted this common human theme in his or her work on the screen and Innaritu deserves the three films of his trilogy to be part of the greatest films of all time. While each film alone cannot satisfy the greatest films of all time ranking, due to some shortcomings and loose weaving between the parts in each film, altogether the philosophical or fact of life point attempted by Innaritu over a 6 years period is well taken and respected. In the following each films of Innaritu’s trilogy will be briefly discussed around the main theme of the unfairness of life and in conclusion all three will be weaved together in one common theme as Innaritu aimed to show so.


Amores Perros (2000):

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The Greatest films of all time: 84. Amores Perros (2000)/21 Grams (2003)/Babel (2006) (Mexico/USA/Japan)