Seven Pounds

"OK"

Seven Pounds Review


Consumed by remorse and despair, a successful businessman gives up all hope after accidentally killing six strangers and his beloved wife. To make amends, he decides to off himself and donate his bodily organs to seven strangers.

That's Seven Pounds in a nutshell, and it sounds more like Saw 6 than a holiday drama reuniting Pursuit of Happyness director Gabriele Muccino with Will Smith. But unlike Happyness, the feel-good movie of 2006, Seven Pounds is just the opposite -- a feel-bad movie -- and its unpleasant aftertaste lingers in your mouth for days. After watching this depression-inducing saga of sadness, you'll need a Zoloft prescription.

Believe it or not, though, the above synopsis doesn't spoil anything because Seven Pounds reveals the main character's suicide in the opening scene. "There's been a suicide," Ben (Will Smith) tells a 911 operator. "Who's the victim?" the operator asks. Ben replies, "Me."

The movie then flashes back, showing Ben -- a Los Angeles IRS agent -- investigating the moral fibers of several strangers. First, he finds that a local doctor (Tim Kelleher) with health problems abuses patients from time to time. Then, he talks with Ezra Turner (Woody Harrelson), a blind pianist who works as a phone operator at a meat company. There's also a poor Hispanic woman name Connie (Elpidia Carrillo) who cannot endure her husband's physical abuse any longer. They all need something from Ben... they just don't know it yet.

Soon, Ben runs into Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson), a lonely woman with a serious heart condition that may kill her unless they find a donor soon. The two hit it off quickly and begin an unexpected romantic fling. At this point, the film transforms from goal-oriented drama to lackadaisical romance. It's a direction that's so different from the first half that it's as if there are two separate movies here. There's a way to blend the contrasting ideas, but Muccino and writer Grant Nieporte miscalculate the transition and find themselves wandering, seemingly without focus or direction.

To the movie's credit, Smith delivers his best performance since Ali. He's come a long way since his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air days, and his maturity as an actor is aptly demonstrated in Seven Pounds. In one of his most emotional roles to date, Smith tackles the drama fearlessly. His performance appears effortless and never feels forced or contrived. He's a breath of fresh air in an otherwise overwrought picture.

But in the end, there's a difference between dark, honest dramas, and movies that are just plain downers. The gut-wrenching Hunger, Revolutionary Road, and The Wrestler are three recent films -- also in some sense about characters who give up -- that are much more difficult to watch than Seven Pounds. But those films don't disguise themselves as inspirational dramas. They are pit bulls, not poodles, and they present themselves honestly. This movie has edge, but it wants to be the bastard child of Happyness. It's a razor blade wrapped inside a teddy bear.

Anyone know what a human head weighs?



Seven Pounds

Facts and Figures

Run time: 123 mins

In Theaters: Friday 19th December 2008

Box Office USA: $70.0M

Box Office Worldwide: $168.2M

Budget: $55M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures, Escape Artists

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 27%
Fresh: 50 Rotten: 137

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: , Jason Blumenthal, , ,

Starring: as Ben, as Emily, as Susan, as Ezra Turner, as Ben's Brother, as Young Ben, as Dan, as Connie, as Sarah, as Larry, as George Ristuccia, as Stewart Goodman, Gina Hecht as Dr. Briar, Andy Milder as George's Doctor, as Holly, as Connie's Daughter, as Kate the Home Health Care Nurse

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.