The Story: Ben Thomas (Will Smith) is an IRS agent bent on killing himself. Before he does he attempts to change the lives of seven strangers for an unknown reason. In his quest he meets a blind meat seller (Woody Harrelson) and a young lady with a heart condition (Rosario Dawson). As the film progresses it is slowly revealed why Ben is so bent on suicide and why his mission is so important.
Pros: After reading all the terrible reviews for this movie I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it. The film has an incredibly unique premise that takes the entire movie to work through. I honestly thought all the little clues would not be tied in well at the end but they are, in fact everything ties together at the end leaving hardly anything hanging. Seven Pounds is a powerful tale of redemption and there are some moments that will really test if you have a heart of stone. A scene with Smith and an elderly patient in a nursing home was a particular scene that tested my tear ducts. The entire movie can come off as depressing but there are some haunting moments that will stick with you long after the movie’s over. The ending in particular is incredibly interesting and insightful. It brings up a lot of questions about certain topics that are sure to be some conversation starters. I was also interested in seeing a character die that one might not expect from a big Hollywood film. I won’t spoil who it is but you definitely wouldn’t expect this type of finale in a big blockbuster movie, I liked how Seven Pounds deviated from convention.
Cons: Seven Pounds is one of those movies that you love or you hate, I can see why many people were put off by this movie. It is a true downer of a movie with no real happy ending. The ending in particular is downright depressing and it never really goes into uplifting territory that will leave you with a song in your heart. The whole movie leads up to this tragic finale and the director doesn’t shy away from showing death or anything. There are also a lot of threads in this movie and you are constantly given clues all the way up to the end. If you have to take a bathroom break or something do not do it during this film because everything ties back into the end, if you leave you will be lost. While everything connects back in the finale a lot of people in the theater I was in were irritated that clue upon clue is foisted on everyone and there’s no break. The suicide at the end of this movie elicited some giggles from the audience, just in terms of how ridiculous it plays out. I understand the reasoning behind it but I doubt suicides is as extreme as the one depicted in Seven Pounds.
Acting: The acting is the saving grace in this film that transcends the somewhat erratic storyline. Will Smith gives an amazing performance that did draw some tears. While this isn’t an Oscar worthy performance in my book he gives the character his all and makes a true connection with everyone he meets. Rosario Dawson is more than able to play off Smith and gives a beautiful performance as the heart patient Emily Posa. I always love Dawson’s work and here she proves that she is an amazing actress. Woody Harrelson and Barry Pepper also deliver some powerhouse performances, Harrelson especially gives a really understated delivery and I would have enjoyed seeing some more of his character.
Overall: I enjoyed Seven Pounds a lot more than I wanted to. At some times morbidly depressing, at others tear inducing. This is a movie that you really need to take some time with and it’s a true love or hate. I give it a 4/5.