Saturday, February 7, 2009

Seven Pounds


I think the best one word description for this movie would be SAD. To call it tragic would be inappropriate. It is not as if the protagonist was bitch slapped by fate and left with no choice regarding his life. He made his choices and I do not agree with most of them.

I think you already know the premise of the film through the trailers but let me jog your memory. Will Smith is Tim, an aeronautical engineer from MIT. Inseparable from his blackberry, he causes a car accident claiming the lives of seven people including his fiancée. Grieving, he decides to steal his brother's IRS identity and now becomes Ben, in search for seven worthy recipients of his body organs and his house after deciding that he must also die.

I think Will Smith's character was mentally disturbed and it showed in his facial expressions and mannerisms. I wanted to hate on him for being irrational but I guess undergoing such a stupid experience like seven people accidentally dying because of your chronic texting while driving habit really derails someone in terms of control over his/her mental faculties.

I do not like how the plot was laid out, specially the non-linear flashbacks. Perhaps it was like that because they assumed we already know about the seven people dying, which was already a giveaway in the trailers. The technique might work well in books and perhaps in more artsy movies but in a long movie like this one (or perhaps it just seemed long because it was boring?) it does not work! Just give us every gory detail of the accident firsthand and then move on! Or maybe it is a reflection of the protagonist's deteriorating mental state? Possible.

The Great Dane was a good supporting actor and the Latino motel owner was funny. Some of the dialogues were unintentionally funny so the film is not that boring all throughout.

If he wanted to make up for the untimely death of the seven people, as an act of penance he could have just worked as a social worker. He could have helped a hundred, heck even a thousand people, within a few years. But he made his choice. And the movie revolved around that choice, which I think was self-serving and a little bit playing God. I think stalking the people you want to help to know if they are worthy of your aid is plain ridiculous. If you want to help then just help, period. But it is his life anyway, so to each his own.

The love story arc between Tim/Ben and the potential heart recipient (Rosario Dawson) was mushy and I think it dragged the whole movie way too long but I sympathize with both of them, two helpless people vulnerable to the cruelties of the world finding comfort in each other. But still it was a long drag... Again, a sad love story which, in this case, I could refer to as tragic because we know that they could never be together.

I think it is good for Will Smith to do occasional movies like this where his acting prowess could be tested once in a while. I have never seen any of his serious films before, only the popcorn flicks where he interacts with robots, zombies, and aliens. The man could act! And he could let a teardrop fall expressively.

The ending was good and in a way beautiful to watch. There they were, two people with something in common and they hug. It was tragic but I loved the ending. I loved the ending because: a) I just love it and; b) the movie is done.

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