Seven Pounds (2008) PG-13
January 2nd, 2009 by Maxim · 8 Comments · 18,070 Views
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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Barry Pepper | blind | Bone Marrow Transplant | car crash | Death of a loved one | Heart Condition | IRS Agent | Jellyfish | Michael Ealy | number in title | organ donor | redemption | Rosario Dawson | Will Smith | woody harrelson
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