The title refers to the purported weight we immediately lose when we die. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores perros
) explores the theory that this effect comes from one’s soul departing to the other side. He does this by entangling the lives of three strangers after a tragic accident takes the life of a man and his two children. Paul (Sean Penn) receives a heart transplant and must face his own mortality. Cristina (Naomi Watts) is a happily married mother of two young daughters who is crushed by personal loss and seeks revenge. And Jack is a reformed ex-con enraptured by newfound religious zeal (Benicio Del Toro in an Oscar-caliber performance). Iñárritu fractures time into an intriguing nonlinear rumination on redemption and on the dark side that lies within us all. He treats the story like overturned jigsaw-puzzle pieces that he randomly shows to us one by one in an initially confusing fashion that eventually emerges as a haunting mosaic mural.