Because I don’t see that many movies in theaters anymore, I’m much more selective about what I choose to see on the big screen. Most of the time I’m confident that the movie I’m seeing deserves the big screen treatment or is something so good that I don’t want to wait for the dvd release. I saw “Seven Pounds” last night at a theater, and left really disappointed. Stop reading now if you’re concerned about spoilers — although I won’t give away specifics, I will give my reasons for not liking the film.
Before we go into why I didn’t like it, let’s talk about why I thought I might. First of all, the cast — Will Smith is good in everything he does, including “Seven Pounds” — Rosario Dawson is one of my favorite actresses and she does a fine job here — Woody Harrelson beautifully plays a small but important role — Barry Pepper also has a small role and although he does what is asked, closer examination would reveal that his character’s actions don’t ring true. The second thing that the movie had going for it was that it was supposed to be a mystery that made the audience think as it slowly revealed why the events were unfolding in the manner shown. This is where the movie fell apart for me.
Will Smith plays a character that we’re supposed to care about. A man tortured by some past event who is now trying to make amends by granting life altering wishes to strangers. It just didn’t work for me. Instead of coming off as a sympathetic, hurting, kind-hearted person, Smith’s character was more of an egotistical, self-centered, short-sighted man who did things for his own benefit [although his actions did help some others] without thought to the feelings of those who knew and loved him most. Every thing that his character did, was done in an effort to make himself feel better. Sure, he helped others, but he did so more for himself than them. And let’s think for a minute about those that he hurt through his efforts. If you do, it would be more than his character did.
The tragic event that sets the stage for everything that is to come happens because of Smith’s character. Then we are led to believe that his character is tortured by the destruction that he caused. Is it because of the loss of his loved one? Not really, he seems to have gotten over her pretty quickly [of course Rosario could have that effect]. Perhaps he is mourning for the others whose lives he destroyed. If so, why doesn’t he do things to help their survivors? No, he instead determines that he will help strangers. He will determine if these strangers are worthy. I guess his character believes that kindness should only be shown to those we believe deserve kindness. The movie’s theme seems to be that stealing, lying, and hurting those closest to you, so you can provide the ultimate sacrifice to strangers is admirable.
I should have waited for the dvd.