Friday, April 10, 2009
I didn't really know what I was getting myself into when I put Seven Pounds on last night. The previews didn't really give too much information about the movie--it was quite ambiguous and puzzling. But, I was blown away by the story and the performance.
The movie is categorized as a mystery, not what I was intending. I thought it was going to be a drama, which it was, but it was also a love story. It was a lot of things mixed in one, but I liked that we had to figure it out as we went along watching it. It's a movie where you can go back and watch it and more things will make sense. You'll pick up on more details and clues and the whole experience will be different than the first time you watched it.
Basically, Will Smith's character is a man who caused an automobile accident that killed seven people. Since he took seven lives, he dedicates his life to giving seven lives back--in the sense that he will sacrifice his own life to make seven lives better to atone for his sins.
Smith's character depressed me. He was so sad and giving; he would do anything just to help other people, and he would go to any lengths to figure out what kind of person they were. Were they good people who deserved a break or were they undeserving of assistance? He would only select people who were truly good at heart, and he spent a lot of time trying to figure them out. In the end, he did select people who were good at heart and who were deserving of his goods.
Smith ends up giving away his heart, his corneas, his lungs, his beach house, and half of his liver. He commits suicide by filling a bathtub with ice cubes (to preserve his organs), and dropping in his box jellyfish to kill him. This jellyfish was around him the entire movie. He made several mentions to it thoughout (using a good foreshadowing technique) that it was the most powerful being on the face of the planet and how much it fascinated him. Who knew it would end up taking his life?
Apparently Smith was working with his best friend to execute his wishes after he committed suicide. His friend assured that certain people got his organs and other goods. I couldn't imagine discussing and executing this with a friend. It takes a good and strong person, and I just don't think it could ever come to that for me. I guess it's trying to show good human nature, because instead of just killing himself, he bettered the lives of at least seven others. It is so giving that it hurts inside.
The title of the movie stems from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice where a debtor must pay a pound of flesh for sins. In this case, Smith must pay seven, so the title is adapted. It's very clever.
I also enjoy how Smith's plan was almost destroyed by Rosario Dawson's character. He starts to fall in love with her and has to decide whether or not he will tell her his plan and go through with it. However, he does because he has to do it in order for her to survive. Rewatching it will make more sense in this case to understand his struggles with this.
The ending was so depressing yet so uplifting. The movie was a great idea, very original and creative. Lately, movies are either spinoffs or sequels, but I really respect the person who tries to do something different and creative that makes us think about life and human nature. It was deep, one you could have conversations about, that makes us think about who we are as people. Overall, I give the writer credit for making something so thought-provoking and touching.
And, before I go, does anyone know how a jellyfish kills someone? I mean, I know it must sting someone, but how does it actually kill a human?
So, what do you think of Seven Pounds?