Director: Gabriele Muccino
Cast: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Michael Ealy, Barry Pepper, Woody Harrelson
RunTime: 2 hrs 3 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Rating: PG (Scene of Intimacy and Some Disturbing Scenes)
Official Website: http://www.sevenpounds.com/
Opening Day: 1 January 2009
Academy Award® nominee Will Smith reunites with the directors and producers of "The Pursuit of Happyness" for the emotional drama "Seven Pounds." In the film, Smith plays Ben Thomas, an IRS agent with a fateful secret who embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by forever changing the lives of seven strangers.
Will Smith. The name alone is bound to generate profitable hits at the box-office, rarely does he disappoint. The last that failed to do so was probably The Legend of Bagger Vance from back in 2000. So, after years of trailblazing and setting the box-office on fire, Will Smith has starred in a dud. Yes, you are right. I am saying Seven Pounds is a dud of a movie. Smith has paired with Gabriele Muccino, the same director who led him to an Oscar nomination for The Pursuit of Happyness but the success from that collaboration has failed to rub off in this outing.
This movie is about Ben Thomas (Will Smith) who decides to help seven people change their lives for good. These seven people include the likes of a wedding-card maker suffering from a heart problem, a blind telemarketer and a woman facing domestic disturbance from her abusive boyfriend. It is not explained why Ben wants to do these good deeds, only hints are shown here and there but the big reveal only comes at the last few minutes of the film, which by then would have lost you or for some reason, grabbed your attention.
While it may be understandable that the idea of the movie is for the big reveal at the end, it is a pretty frustrating movie to sit through. The movie starts off on an interesting note with Ben calling 911 saying that he will commit suicide but interest is lost after that when he jumps around from one potential person to help to another. A substantial amount of time is given to the story between him and Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson) the lady suffering from a heart problem. The rest of the stories are given an uneven amount of time and this leads to the story being confusing. One moment he is helping Emily out, the next he is donating a bone marrow.
At times, one wonders if the pained expression on Will Smith’s face throughout the movie was because of the guilt his character was going through or in knowing that he had made a mistake signing up for this movie. The character is not a very likeable fellow and it is hard to identify with why he wants to do what he wants to do as one does not know what he is up to. This is bad storytelling at its non-linear best. Everything just comes up pretty underdeveloped at the end.
The one saving grace of the movie could possibly be the chemistry between Will Smith and Rosario Dawson. There were moments that seemed like genuine tender moments between the two. It was nice being an observer, watching two persons falling in love, slowly but surely.
Watch this movie if you must. There is not a lot that can be said without giving the movie away too much.
(A slow-burner which banks on its big reveal at the end far too much)
Review by Mohamad Shaifulbahri