Tuesday, January 24, 2012

SEVEN POUNDS movie review

Seven Pounds

Starring: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Michael Ealy.

Running time: 123 minutes

Year: 2008

Directed By: Gabriele Muccino.

Written By: Grant Nieporte

                                                             Seven Pounds trailer

When this film was released many compared it to the previous film starring Smith and directed by Muccino, The Pursuit Of Happiness. I can tell you it is not like that film at all. Yes it is a bit of a tear jerker and yes Smith perhaps does play the same kind of role, but the themes and issues of Seven Pounds are completely different. This film is about guilt and how one man shows his way of erasing the guilt that is eating away at him from the inside, and how he must alter himself when obstacles get in the way of his plan.

The film centres around the life of Ben Thomas (Smith), an IRS agent who is with holding a secret. A secret that is slowly unravelling as Ben meets seven complete strangers throughout the beginning of the film. With erratic behaviour, he seems to test each character into seeing if they are a genuine good person. Once he is convinced they are the wheels of his plan are set into motion, until he begins to spend more time with one of the strangers, Emily Poza (Dawson), a woman suffering a heart condition. He begins to fall for her and the questions arise as of whether or not he continues with his plan for the sake of this woman.

The big reveal is good. Some people will guess the secret and the plan before it is revealed but that doesn't make it have less of an impact. It is very emotional. It is a good reveal at the same time as being sad and a very good way to bring the intertwining relationships, characters and secrets together. It will probably bring a tear to your eye. Not saying I cried but some people will. I swear I didn't cry!

Smith is very good in the lead role. He manages to bring a range of emotions to his character and you utterly believe him when he cries, screams or just remains totally silent. He plays the character awkwardly and it makes you feel awkward to watch but it keeps you away from his secrets and makes you want to know more about him. His performance does pull at the heart strings but it is his relationship with Dawson that really is a tear jerker. As they slowly fall for each other the stakes raise, with her closer to death and him re-considering his perfect plan. The chemistry between the two seems real and their performances really bring the sadness out in this film.

However this area of the plot is where the film really slows down. We start seeing Thomas tracking down his targets and treating them with little respect, even smashing ones head into a window, but when he meets Emily we seem to sidetrack and spend a lot of the time focusing on them two developing into a relationship. I began to forget the entire beginning of the film and that he was actually on some kind of secret mission. I suppose he is feeling like this within himself and that is why we are left to feel like this as well, I just didn't think it worked and found myself wanting the plot to go back to the same pace it had at the beginning. The film is just over two hours and perhaps they could have cut twenty minutes of this part from the film.

Despite slowly beginning to fade out of the movie the ending drew me straight back in. The final act is sad and threads the entire plan together nicely and we are brought back to the same tone as we were experiencing at the beginning of the film. I was back to thoroughly enjoying it again.
Smith really is great in this film and I was drawn into character well. His relationship with Dawson is believable and develops nicely. The overall plot and narrative of the film is intriguing, especially with the slow unravel of Smith's secret mission. Other than a mid second act lull this is a good film that I recommend to all.

3.5 / 5

Next film to review: U TURN

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