Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Seven Pounds

Seven Pounds
2008. Rated PG-13, 118 minutes.
Director: Gabriele Muccino. Starring Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Barry Pepper, Woody Harrelson, Michael Ealy.

Plot: An obviously troubled man (Smith) is on a self-imposed mission to help others and unexpectedly falls in love.

The Good: It effectively strings us along. We're never quite sure exactly what our hero is up to until very late in the proceedings and the movie likes it like that way. Will Smith is solid but Rosario Dawson is outstanding. She very much makes us believe she's a woman who has missed out on things most of us take for granted and increasingly anxious about the time, or lack of time she has left.

The Bad: It's a little too cryptic. Why our hero is troubled is hinted at throughout so it was anticlimactic instead of being the huge revelation it wants to be. Showing this earlier may have helped his pain resonate with the audience more. The movie also takes itself way too seriously. Moments that could've been humorous and lightened the mood are enveloped by our hero's grim greater purpose, a destination he not only trudges toward but drags others with him.

The Ugly: Why he keeps the jellyfish.

Recommendation: The big problem seems to be how shamelessly it campaigned for the Oscars when it was being released. The commercials told us how it was being touted by some critics as a Best Picture candidate with a mind-blowing twist. Since it's not quite that, it became the chic movie to hate. I don't think it's nearly as bad as everyone says. In fact, I thought it was pretty good, even if it is overly self-important.

The Opposite View: Rawlin, VSN

What the Internet Says: 7.6/10 on, 28% on, 36/100 on

MY SCORE: 7/10

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