Well the Oscars
are imminent and it seems that studios are ready to unleash the big emotional guns. Seven Pounds is one of their attempts and it stars Will (don’t call me Big Ears
) Smith and Rosario (I worked for Quentin Tarentino
) Dawson. Smith and Dawson have previously worked together on Men in Black
II and since that film was an ultimate waste of my time
, I was expecting the same from this.
Great lengths have been made to avoid the full synopsis being revealed and I would urge you not to read it if you intend to go and watch the film. Somehow knowing what the film is about will spoil it irrevocably. Gladly I watched the movie not knowing much about it so you’d think I would enjoy it more than others who did!
An IRS agent with a fateful secret embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by forever changing the lives of seven strangers.
Seven Pounds tries so very hard to pull at the heart strings
. In fact it tries too hard. It throws so much crap at you in an attempt to make it stick that the only crying you’ll ever really do is the “I can’t believe I am watching this” kind.
It plays incredibly slowly with no attempt at an explanation until you are long beyond caring. In fact by the end of the movie, I imagine that you would come up with a better explanation as to why Will Smith
’s character is playing such a complete oddball. After ten minutes you are thinking along the lines of The Sixth Sense and after twenty minutes you are assuming that it is much like Pay it Forward
. In fact after about an hour you realise that you’d rather be watching these better films. Sadly though, you don’t get the chance and a lot of unnecessary confusion follows.
That is not to say that Seven Pounds is a bad film. Far from it! Will Smith
plays his part well, although it takes you 2 hours and a memory like an elephant to appreciate it. Rosario Dawson
is understated which is why she played well. However when better films have come before it, it is hard not to compare. I thought that the Academy Awards appreciated originality above everything else and this is where Seven Pounds falls hopelessly apart.
At one point I had assumed that it was going to go all Donnie Darko on us, but was let down again. I hate to blame just one individual for a movie’s failing but in this case I cannot help it. The writer (Grant Nieporte) whose credits include two episodes of 8 Simple Rules... and Sabrina the Teenage Witch really shows his inexperience with a story that seems like a recycling of other better films. You could not blame the direction (handled well by Gabriele Muccino) or the acting. However the writing just doesn’t cut the mustard. This is just not as powerful as it could have been.
When all is said and done though, the subject matter is one that only the hardest of nuts will refuse to cry at. My emotions were all over the show for at least an hour. I just felt angry though, that it was done in such an unchallenging way. If you want people to cry then put helpless people on screen. It doesn’t take a genius to do that.
Seven Pounds attempts to be an uplifting film but does nothing other than make you mad. It is a gentle stroll through a man’s thoughts and somehow the story was close to being perfection. After all, who didn’t like Highway to Heaven? Really? Was it just me? Oh! Never mind. This will appeal to your mum for a small amount of time and you, for even less of a time. Highly forgettable and unworthy of any more words said on the matter......
Rating: 3 out of 5