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Seven Pounds - Review - A tearjerker which doesn't bring you tears

Category: , , By Manu
After the heart wrenching drama "Pursuit of Happyness" Gabriele Muccino and Will Smith come together for another drama, Seven Pounds. Is it another "Pursuit of Happyness"? No it is not.

Plot (without spoilers)
Ben(Will Smith) is an IRS agent who is deeply depressed and guilt-ridden for the mistakes from his past. He decides to change the lives of three strangers. Among those he contacts are a blind telemarketer (Woody Harrelson), a battered single mom (Elpidia Carrillo) and, most importantly, Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson), a woman in desperate need of a heart transplant with whom he inevitably fall in love.

It is really hard to write a review of Seven Pounds without spoilers, which are not much anyways(I figured out most of the story half way through the movie). Anyways for all those who are spoiler-phobic I can try to refrain from as many details as I can while still making sense.

The biggest problem with the movie is the script. The writer tried to weave a mystery plot with an emotional one and as a result comes up short at both. The result is neither emotional, nor mysterious. In most of the scenes that are supposed to make us emotional we will be unable to do so because we will have no idea why the character is so emotional. But that would have been acceptable if the plot was truly mysterious. The plot falls short there again. From the supposedly incomprehensible flashbacks, we pretty much figure out the whole story, in the first fifteen minutes. All through the movie I was confused to see the movie as a mystery or an emotional drama. And I was also wondering if the writer takes his audience for fools to expect everybody will be surprised by the climax.

I went in to the theatre expecting another Pursuit of Happyness, but was thoroughly disappointed. Gabriele Muccino did a good job in making such a flimsy script into a passable movie. Though the movie was visually pleasing, the story, and the way it is handles totally ruined it. Will Smith puts on another Oscar worthy performance though I wondered sometimes if he is trying too hard. Unlike in "Pursuit of Happyness" Will Smith's charater is perpetually sad, or moody making it a little hard to like him. His charisma shows through in a couple of scenes by overall he is a moody emotional man.

With a performance that tugs all the strings of your heart, Rosario Dawson captures you as Emily Posa, a girl suffering from congenital heart disease. Quiet, broken and yet so full of yearning for life, Emily is the one bit of heart and soul in this film. And in bringing Emily to life, Dawson gives what can easily be described as a career best performance. She is the subtle balance to Smith’s sap-session, lighting the film up every time she unleashes her infectious smile. Through her performance, we cannot help but to connect with Emily’s pain as she struggles with near-terminal heart failure and celebrate those quiet, happy moments she shares as she begins to fall for the mysterious Ben. But the outstanding performance of Rosario Dawson is not enough to save the movie.

My Verdict -
With a premise that is intriguing and unique the writer-director could have done much more. Will Smith teaming up with Gabriele Muccino will make us believe another "Pursuit of Happyness" is on the cards. But you are going to be really disappointed. The only two things that are worthy of a "watch" are the performances by Rosario Dawson and Will Smith. The plot holes will leave you gaping, the ending will leave you confused and the "big surprise" of Seven Pounds is that you get the "big surprise" pushed in your face in the first 15 minutes. Will Smith definitely broke his $100 million streak with this melodramatic, convoluted movie and he is not definitely not getting an Oscar for this one. Grant Nieporte should go back to writing sitcoms, where he belongs.

The soundtrack can be bought at Amazon And for all you Will Smith fans the 11x17 poster for the movie is available at Amazon
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