Seven Pounds(2008)-Movie Review,Story Line

December 20, 2008

evenxlarge “Seven Pounds,” which reunites Will Smith with Gabriele Muccino (who directed him in “The Pursuit of Happyness ), begins with a series of riddling, chronologically scrambled scenes. A man calls 911 to report his own suicide. He badgers a blind call-center employee — whom we suspect will be a significant character, since he’s played by Woody Harrelson — with complaints and insults. He embraces a lovely woman in an even lovelier beach house. He visits a nursing home where he terrorizes an administrator and comforts a resident.

For a while it is pleasant enough to contemplate these loose ends, and to tease from them the possible contours of a story. It is never unpleasant to watch Mr. Smith, who likes to play peekaboo with his charm, hiding it now and then behind fleeting shadows of anguish or malice. The music (Angelo Milli’s score and a handful of emotive pop songs) combines with the deep colors of Philippe Le Sourd’s cinematography to summon up intensities of sentiment not yet arrived at by the narrative, creating an interesting frisson of suspense. After a while, though, as the pieces of the puzzle snap together, curiosity gives way to incredulity.

Near the end of “Seven Pounds” a carefully laminated piece of paper appears, on which someone has written, “DO NOT TOUCH THE JELLYFISH.” I wouldn’t dream of it, and I’ll take the message as a warning not to divulge the astonishing things that happen, not all of them involving aquatic creatures.

Frankly, though, I don’t see how any review could really spoil what may be among the most transcendently, eye-poppingly, call-your-friend-ranting-in-the-middle-of-the-night-just-to-go-over-it-one-more-time crazily awful motion pictures ever made. I would tell you to go out and see it for yourself, but you might take that as a recommendation rather than a plea for corroboration. Did I really see what I thought I saw?

And I wish I could spell out just what that was, but you wouldn’t believe me, and the people at Sony might not invite me to any more screenings. So instead of spelling out what happens in “Seven Pounds,” I’ll just pluck a few key words and phrases from my notes, and arrange them in the kind of artful disorder Mr. Muccino seems to favor (feel free to start crying any time):

Eggplant parmesan. Printing press. Lung. Bone marrow. Eye transplant. Rosario Dawson. Great Dane. Banana peel. Jellyfish (but you knew that already). Car accident. Congestive heart failure.

Huh? What the … ? Hang on. What’s he doing? Why? Who does he think he is? Jesus! That last, by the way, is not an exclamation of shock but rather an answer to the preceding question, posed with reference to Mr. Smith. Lately he has taken so eagerly to roles predicated on heroism and world-saving self-sacrifice — see “I Am Legend” and “Hancock” — that you may wonder if he has a messiah clause in his contract. Which is not to say that he doesn’t show range in these films, in which he credibly plays a research scientist, a dissolute superhero and, in this latest one, an I.R.S. agent.

An I.R.S. agent who wants only to help people. This is a nice, small joke that provides a few grace notes of levity in what is otherwise a lugubrious exercise in spiritual bushwa. For all its pious, earnest air, “Seven Pounds” cries out to be remade as an Asian horror movie, so that the deep, creepy grotesqueness of its governing premise might be allowed to flourish, rather than to fester beneath the surface.

As it is, the movie is basically an inverted, twisted tale of revenge. Ben Thomas, Mr. Smith’s character, is in essence a benevolent vigilante, harassing, stalking and spying on unsuspecting citizens for their own good, and also to punish himself. Why such misery should also be inflicted on an innocent, affirmation-hungry audience — and also on the marvelous Ms. Dawson, who plays one of Ben’s victim-beneficiaries — is another matter entirely.

But maybe I’m approaching this in the wrong way. Maybe “Seven Pounds” isn’t a spiritual parable about redemption or forgiveness or salvation or whatever, but rather a collection of practical lessons. Don’t drive while using a BlackBerry. Fertilize your rose bushes with banana peels — sorry, that was a spoiler. But please, whatever you do, don’t touch the jellyfish.

I’m serious. Don’t.

“Seven Pounds” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). Swearing. Soulful sex by candlelight. Car accident. Eggplant parmesan.

SEVEN POUNDS

Directed by Gabriele Muccino; written by Grant Nieporte; director of photography, Philippe Le Sourd; edited by Hughes Winborne; music by Angelo Milli; production designer, J. Michael Riva; produced by Todd Black, James Lassiter, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch and Will Smith; released by Columbia Pictures. Running time: 1 hour 58 minutes.

WITH: Will Smith (Ben Thomas),  Rosario Dawson(Emily Posa),Woody Harrelson (Ezra), Barry Pepper (Dan) and Michael Ealy (Ben’s Brother).

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12 Responses to “Seven Pounds(2008)-Movie Review,Story Line”

  1. Patriciadc Says:

    Absolutely, no contest, the worst movie I’ve ever seen. The only reason I stayed was to be nice to relatives I was with. Totally a waste of time. Did it move in slow motion or were those my glasses sliding off my face? Just ridiculously bad.

  2. Matt Says:

    i dont think it was the worst movie at all but it really gets your mind moving i think this sort of film needs to be watched a lot of times to be understood properly

  3. sam Says:

    i just got back from seeing this movie. it intrigued me and i was confused for parts of the movie, but once i figured out what was going on, i really loved it. it made me think and it surprised me.

  4. tgaff Says:

    hands down one of the top 3 movies Ive ever seen… one of the most deep, moving, heart warming movies ever. If you can sit there and say this movie is bad, your understanding of movies is terrible, or you dont get it.

  5. Bert Says:

    I was excited to see this movie knowing how much I enjoyed Muccino and Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness. Maybe my expectations were too high but, I was reall disappointed with Seven Pounds.

  6. ali Says:

    This movie is only for those with a great understanding of underlying meanings. In order to understand this movie you have to be open minded and open hearted. This is a movie I would strongly recomend seeing. I can see how some people may not like this movie in a sense that you have to actually be smart and pay attnetion and remember the little things from the begining of the movie, other than that the only reason someone shouldn’t enjoy this movie is because society has brain washed us to think that movies need sex scenes, intense action packed scenes, a twisted ending and the same outline that EVERy other movie out there has. Its something different, unique and interesting.
    Its a MUST see.

  7. Harsha Says:

    I am really fascinated by the movie.A heart touching movie

  8. Brian Liebenstein Says:

    Magnificient except that this reviewer was too caught up with the jellyfish to even figure out that Smith was actually playing a rather quite intelligent member of the space program who lost his wife in a horrid accident which killed four others so he wanted to save five people. He chose to fake being his brother (an IRS agent) to pull it off. In swearing people to secrecry about his plan to donate his seven pounds of organs to help people needing and eye transplant and heart transplant he is sacrificing something but also gaining eternity with his wife. If people were not thinking enough to gain the spiritual message of this film THEIR LOSS. God help them.

  9. Brian Liebenstein Says:

    Magnificient except that this reviewer was too caught up with the jellyfish to even figure out that Smith was actually playing a rather quite intelligent member of the space program who lost his wife in a horrid accident which killed four others so he wanted to save five people. He chose to fake being his brother (an IRS agent) to pull it off. In swearing people to secrecry about his plan to donate his seven pounds of organs to help people needing an eye transplant and heart transplant he is sacrificing his life to gain his eternity with his wife. If people do not think enough to gain the spiritual message of this film THEIR LOSS. God help them.

  10. omeo Says:

    this movie…. i think is not the best from will smith…. pursuit of happiness touched me more than this….. this movie has many similarities with some other films i have seen…. but nevertheless it is good…… after a fast and furious movie HANKOK …this slow movie makes me very sleepy and …what can i say… i didnt enjoyed it much…. i wondered how a weak-hearted patient having sex with neone like emilly in this film with ban…… this was so funny indeed…

  11. vishesh Says:

    it was a fantastic movie ……

    hats off to WILL SMITH

  12. revanth Says:

    One of the heart-throbs I’ve seen recently. Will Smith is as calculative in making his lifeless life more meaningful by its end, as it was when he was a n engineer happily married to love of his life. Its a sacrifice as well as a kind of revenge on himself. Conveys the noble message that life is to live-and-let-live, than to hunt-and-get-haunted.
    I hate people who drive while using their mobiles, but I’m a fan of this guy.
    Hats-off to the director too, for the emotion-packed scenes. I guess he always wanted to service the society, but was constrained; and now achieving his goal by conveying this message.


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