Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Pre-Release Review: Seven Pounds

Two of Five Stars - Rated PG-13

Editors Note : After being fortunate enough to have the opportunity to see a preview screening for "Seven Pounds" (ready for release this Friday, December 19) I felt obligated to share my review of the film. I hope you find it helpful. You may also want to get Hannah's take on this movie, because I think it differs greatly from mine.

Bait & Switch! I had seen just one trailer for this film. I noted that the director also brought us "Pay It Forward" and all signs pointed toward a heart warming film. While the amazing sacrifices presented in the movie were tear jerking, they were NOT heart warming. Seven Pounds was more closely related to films like "My Life," or "Phenomenon."

It took forever for this movie to "get going." I felt like I was being strung along through a disjointed sequence of seemingly unrelated events, struggling to see what the connections were and why I was being pulled through this maze of flashbacks and cryptic conversations.

The plot starts to become apparent to the careful observer but this does not relieve the feeling of confusion because I was then left to decipher what route the film would take the climax. A love story begins to bud as well which is a joy to watch but adds a layer to the questions about just how the film would wrap it's self up.

The conclusion was extremely dark and quite disturbing. The "rewards" the film was supposed to offer out of the dark climax to the film did not leave me feeling compensated for enduring the ordeal of observing the culmination.

With the overall let down of the film there were some bright points. The female lead, Rosario Dawson, was an absolute joy to watch. Her performance is Oscar worthy. Good chemistry is created between her and Will Smith and the brief love story is the shining redemption to the film. The writer creates some delicate metaphors that foreshadow the movie's climax and seeing these appear creates some of those heartwarming moments the film so desperately needs.

Overall, I was disappointed that a despicable event is exploited as noble motivation for the core premise of film. Take care in choosing Seven Pounds as a film to bring out the holiday spirit. I have worked hard not to give away any spoilers, and at some point I may write more about my interpretation of some elements of the film. Till then, let me know what you think - and we'll talk then.


Brett - Rachel B said...

Yeah, I've been wondering about this film. I thought it had a chance, but then I saw that Will Smith was on Oprah promoting it and I realized the movie itself is probably like an episode of Oprah: there is a huge fuss about it, and then you see it and it's just a bunch of fake crap about how to feel like your life is meaningful, by doing vague feel good things that, in a politically correct way, apply to everyone.

However, nothing else is on so I'm obviously watching it.
Can't wait to hear your real thoughts once I see it!

Doug - The JeepCruzer said...


My real thoughts? They're on the page. Some insights on parts of the film that might spoil the show for others, that is still to come. And not much for that matter, there were a few moments in the writing and directing that I really liked. Foremost was the anaology showcased by the printing press. I thought I was watching a foreshadowing of the movies conclusion when I watched him [Smith] perform selflessly to repair a cherished item [printing press.] I could see the parallel of the man healing - or repairing - her as he was also repairing the appliance. Sadly I though that the impending suicide would be staved off due to this alegorical, but instead I was left half satisfied by what could have been a delicate tangent to the film.