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Seven Pounds (2008) PG-13

January 2nd, 2009 by Maxim · 8 Comments · 18,170 Views

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3/5

Warning: this review contains spoilers, but the plot is not too thick.

Seven Pounds is drama from director of “Pursuit of Happiness” Gabriele Muccino, again starring Will Smith. Also cast are Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Barry Pepper and Michael Ealy.

The plot: An IRS agent Ben Thomas (Will Smith) with a fateful secret pays visit to seven strangers and promises to completely change their lives if they prove to be deserving good people worthy of a “gift” he is going to give them. His plans get almost messed up when he meets a woman with a heart condition (Rosario Dawson) and falls in love with her.

The good: The plot in the hands of director Gabriele Muccino is revealing itself slowly throughout the 2 hour long movie and keeps you guessing, as the present and flashbacks interweave. It seems like there are a lot of lose ends, but they tie up together nicely at the end.  The opening sequence has a lot of bits of information to remember to piece the rest together: the heartbreaking call to 911, the flashback to car crash, the list of seven names. Then he calls his childhood friend (Barry Pepper) and reminds him to “do what he promised”. Good performances by the entire cast. Overall good story and screenplay. This is an emotional drama. Great chemistry between Will Smith and Rosario Dawson. It’s also interesting to see Ben Thomas’s journey and how he came to commit to his idea of redemption. The movie certainly makes you take a hard look at your life and sort out your priorities. And you will probably be playing the “what if” game, just like in the movie, imagining the world without you or without your loved ones. I also liked Woody Harrelson as a blind man who still finds joy in his life.

The bad: The opening sequence of the movie gives up too much of the plot. Rosario Dawson is beautiful, but I think there were too many close-ups of her in this film. What are we supposed to do? Stare at her perfect skin for 10 minutes? Toward the end of the movie the choirs and the music had become annoying and created too melodramatic an atmosphere. Some people in the audience were sobbing but the melodrama was a little overdone for me. The biggest problem I have with this film is this: as honorable intentions of Will Smith’s character were , why did he decide to chose seven strangers to help, and not the families of his victims? Also, the suicide by box jellyfish does not seem plausible – the reason jellyfish kill is because the toxins they release in the prey’s blood. So as the result none of the organs of the jellyfish’s prey would be salvageable as transplants. I also thought Will Smith plays too much of a God here: his brother (Michael Ealy) rightfully tells him: “you can’t play with people’s lives”. Why just 7 people? Why does he get to chose who deserves his “gift”? Could he do more good had he stayed alive? Will Smith has single contorted expression on his face throughout the movie, and I wonder if his facial muscles hurt.

The summary: it’s a touching drama that makes women weep, but it has some major problems. If you are looking for women’s weepers, see it in the theater, but otherwise it’s a melodrama for rent. It’s good but not great.

The cast: Ben Thomas – Will Smith | Emily Posa – Rosario Dawson | Ezra Turner – Woody Harrelson | Ben’s Brother – Michael Ealy | Dan – Barry Pepper | Connie Tepos – Elpidia Carrillo | Sarah Jenson – Robinne Lee | Larry-the-hotel-owner  – Joe Nunez | Connie’s Daughter – Madison Pettis | Connie’s son – Ivan Angulo

The crew: Director – Gabriele Muccino | Screenplay – Grant Nieporte | Producers – Domenico Procacci, Todd Black, Molly Allen, David J. Bloomfield, Jason Blumenthal, David Crockett, James Lassiter, Will Smith, Steve Tisch | Original Music – Angelo Milli | Cinematography – Philippe Le Sourd | Columbia Pictures | Relativity Media

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Rated 3/5 on Jan 2 2009
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Tags: Drama · Melodrama or Women's Weepers · Movies · USA

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8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 admin // Apr 2, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Ah, I think I read “Merchant of Venice” at least 20 years ago. Thanks for the explanation. Still, I’m not the only one, apparently, who struggled to explain the title :)

  • 2 admin // Apr 2, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Ah, I think I read “Merchant of Venice” at least 20 years ago. Thanks for the explanation. Still, I’m not the only one, apparently, who struggled to explain the title :)

  • 3 Anonymous // Jan 14, 2009 at 6:07 pm

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    “Will Smith has single contorted expression on his face throughout the movie, and I wonder if his facial muscles hurt.”

    This for me makes it one of the worse Will Smith performances. He looks constipated in every single scene.

  • 4 coolkhush // Jan 19, 2009 at 12:03 pm

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    the movie is good but wat does 7 pounds mean ???

  • 5 admin // Jan 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm

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    The way I see it there can be two interpretations – 7 pounds to the doors of seven people, and perhaps the heart of an adult ways 7 pounds. The latter seems unlikely: I think a heart weighs about 400-450 grams, or almost exactly 1 pound. Maybe it means combined weight of seven hearts that keep on beating thanks to the hero.
    But I agree – the title is confusing to say the least.

  • 6 EX27 // Mar 2, 2009 at 10:52 pm

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    If there is one thing that this movie displays, it is that Will Smith can do anything. This film also displays that Will Smith is not good at doing anything. I found the film to be pointless. What is the theme? If you kill someone, take your own life to save someone else? The film felt a little cheesy as well. And the title is Seven Pounds, so that means that Smith’s character is trying to save seven people, but in the film we mostly see only one. The end twist was supposed to be something extraordinary, but the twist was anticipated slowly. I beleive that Will Smith is dying out, after Hancock and this, he needs to get his act together and do a film that is actually good.

  • 7 kaylaosteen // Apr 2, 2009 at 5:52 am

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    it comes from the Merchant of Venice where a pound of flesh is demanded from those in debt. In ‘Seven Pounds’ seven lives were taken so seven pounds are owed, he must save seven lives.

  • 8 admin // Apr 2, 2009 at 6:17 am

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    Ah, I think I read “Merchant of Venice” at least 20 years ago. Thanks for the explanation. Still, I’m not the only one, apparently, who struggled to explain the title :)

  • 9 Austin // Jul 13, 2009 at 9:52 pm

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    This movie was very good, even tho I figured out what was going to happen during half way through the movie. It was still a damn good movie. It makes you want to live your life to the fullest. And I also think that it is a movie everyone should watch, to know that life is not easy but it isnt so bad.

  • 10 Mary Ann // Jul 14, 2010 at 6:17 pm

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    Rosario Dawson needs to use her money from the movie to get herself some acting classes. She played some leach who was supposed to breath life into Will Smith’s suffering character, but really only annoyed movie goers at the local IMAX. When Will Smith killed himself instead of Dawson, a group of army guys walked out cursing that it ought’ve been her for being a bad actress. Hollywood: if you were baseball managers, you’d call Dawson’s strikes and not put us through the agony of having to sit through a script made long by someone who wants to ride Will Smith’s coat tails to make a name for herself.

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