“Seven Pounds” - A nice gift for movie-goers

Wed, 12/24/2008 - 9:19am
By: Michael Boylan

As the promotion and reviews for this film hit the newspapers, magazines and television programs last week, the story of the film was treated like a big secret, as if there were major plot twists to figure out. Either I have seen too many movies (I have) or the people behind this film didn’t want the public to hear the plot and misconstrue it as something sad and avoided during the holidays.

Yes, “Seven Pounds” will make you misty and tear up, possibly even cry at the end, but so will “Marley and Me.” Heck, I watched “Elf” the other night and I always tear up when Santa gets enough Christmas cheer to fly the sleigh into the night. “Seven Pounds” is a solid film. It is well-acted and the story is intriguing. It could have been about 15-20 minutes shorter, but lots of movies can say that these days.

“Seven Pounds” starts with Ben Thomas (Smith) treating a blind man horribly over the phone. An IRS agent, he then visits a woman named Emily Posa who is having heart trouble. What do blind people and heart patients have in common? What could a healthy man do for them? Hmmmm. You see why I don’t think there are spoilers to be revealed. In the first five minutes, you realize the gist. Smith’s Thomas is going to make the lives of these people (and possibly five more people) better. There’s more to the movie though and a few small mysteries to solve along the way.

Smith is excellent in this film. This is his finest acting performance to date, hands down. His character is obviously very complex and Smith deftly moves from scene to scene portraying Thomas’ ups and downs as he sets his plan in motion.

There is one scene in particular, towards the end of the movie, that perfectly illustrates how good the movie is and how special the acting between Smith and Rosario Dawson is.

There is an excellent cast that surrounds Smith and Dawson, including Woody Harrelson, Barry Pepper and Joe Nunez for the film’s comic relief. Director Gabriel Muccino also does a very good job setting the tone with the cinematography and a very good soundtrack.

“Seven Pounds” isn’t Oscar caliber, although in lighter years I think Smith could get nominated for his performance, but it is an interesting movie. It is well made, thought provoking, entertaining and a really good date movie. Hopefully, it won’t get lost in the shuffle with all the other movies opening this week.

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