| Note: Two Movie Reviews submitted below for "Seven Pounds" by Keith Cohen and Jolene.
2 Stars (Out of four)
Review by Keith Cohen, "The Movie Guy"
Bah humbug! There is only coal in this stocking. Will Smith is leading his fans into a morose abyss.
The trailers have been misleading. The only accurate revelation can be found in the MPAA rating that indicates “some disturbing content.” The movie keeps its cards hidden and is purposely structured to leave you in a confused and disoriented state.
There are a series of unrelated scenes from different points in time mixing the past and present. Hints are dropped like scattered bread crumbs giving clues for you to piece together.
The central story starts at the end with Smith making an emergency 911 telephone call from a seedy LA motel room requesting an ambulance.
Smith purports to be Ben Thomas, an IRS agent. Rather than auditing taxes, he makes moral judgments about whether terminal medical patients have been naughty or nice. The deceiving title comes from Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” where Shylock demands “a pound of flesh” in exchange for a loan of money.
A guilt-ridden Thomas chooses selfless martyrdom as a path to redemption and salvation. He goes against the grain of the basic human survival instinct. He violates the famous Bible verse in Deuteronomy where God says “to choose life.”
The melodrama’s only saving grace is the fabulous performance by underappreciated actress Rosario Dawson (“Eagle Eye”). She plays Emily Posa, a beautiful woman suffering from congestive heart failure. She desperately needs an organ transplant. She is the only sincere and believable person in the movie.
In a vulnerable situation, she reaches out to Thomas for companionship. Her feelings of passion are genuine. Thomas is unwilling to share with her his shattered past. Since their relationship is based on lies and omissions, it is hard to accept their romantic charade.
The movie feels like an extended hospital visit as Smith’s character seems to be constantly hovering around sick people. The subject matter is in bad taste and the poorly timed release is repugnant to the joy and merriment generally associated with the holiday spirit.
This movie leaves you feeling depressed and empty. Screenwriter Grant Nieporte has a warped view of giving gifts and the catchphrase of “live life abundantly” strikes a false chord. His limited background consists of writing only three episodes of 22-minute television sitcoms (“8 Simple Rules…for Dating My Teenage Daughter” and “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch”).
This preposterous story includes a lawyer (Barry Pepper, who played Roger Maris in “61”) drawing up documents that are against public policy and failing to alert police when having information that a crime is about to be committed.
Woody Harrelson (“No Country for Old Men”) plays a blind telemarketer/concert pianist.
This is a thought-provoking, pessimistic and morbid art house offering packaged as a mainstream movie. Don’t give in to the temptation of giving misery the pleasure of your company.
3 Stars (Out of four)
Review by Jolene Mendez
Will Smith is at it again. He stars in the latest mystery entitled "Seven Pounds". After viewing the trailer many of us have questions, but don’t expect any answers immediately when viewing this film. Seven Pounds is a story of Ben Thomas (Will Smith) who is out to make extraordinary changes in seven stranger’s lives. The strangers Ben comes in contact with are all in debt to the IRS, but the agenda he has is not one of collections. It all seems like a cover-up for something with much more meaning. He takes a personal interest in each of them.
One of his strangers is Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson) who is dying of congenital heart failure and is in debt to the IRS in the thousands. You immediately see a connection between Emily and Ben, a connection that only intensifies as Emily becomes more ill. Ben’s mission is contingent on the fact that these seven strangers are genuinely kind people. So why is this condition in place and how is Ben out to change their future? These questions can not be answered without giving too much away.
Will Smith offers another stellar and strong lead performance. Rosairo Dawson along side Will is superb. "Seven Pounds" is very confusing in the beginning, but as the facts begin to come together you begin to solve the mystery set forth before you. The movie turns out to be a wonderful film with plenty of thrills and chills, an unexpected surprise. It does dose out its fair share of depressing plots, but overall I found the film insightful and full of hope. Another note worthy Will Smith film and this one should not be missed out on. Find out the mystery of "Seven Pounds", in theatres now.