Last Will and Testament
"Seven Pounds" is one of those movies which benefits from being watched more than once so that you can really appreciate the twisting and engaging storyline to its up most. What "Seven Pounds" does is leads you along causing you to second guess what is really going on and feeding you only morsels of information until it wraps up the various threads towards the end of the movie, delivering you that "oh" moment and in doing so leaves you emotionally drained, shocked and wondering why you didn't see it coming. In fact you may have second guessed the outcome as the clues are certainly there but even so to watch "Seven Pounds" just once and pick up on all the clever clues would be quite amazing.
"Seven Pounds" takes us on a journey into the life of Ben Thomas, played by a rather sombre Will Smith (Hancock), an IRS agent who can flick from being a nasty piece of work, berating and ridiculing a blind phone operator one moment to the nicest most generous man the next, giving his home on the beach to a woman who is being abused by her husband. We don't know why he behaves in such a diverse manner except that he is obviously working to some hidden agenda only known to himself, except that his agenda doesn't allow for him becoming emotionally attached to one woman he encounters.
In many ways "Seven Pounds" reminds me of "The Sixth Sense" as in the fact for the majority of the movie it leads us to assume one thing only to deliver an unexpected ending and in the same manner when you re-watch "Seven Pounds" you start to spot all the clues which would lead you to the outcome. It's also a movie which is less about what is going on rather than the emotions of the main character Ben Thomas. And so whilst not devoid of action it very much takes the back seat allowing for what turns out to be pretty much an intelligent and engaging character study.
If I was going to be in anyway critical is that during the early parts of "Seven Pounds" it flicks between different times in Ben's life and although it can make it slightly confusing to follow it does add to the intrigue as to why this IRS officer appears to have such a split personality. I am sure director Gabriele Muccino did this intentionally and along with his masterful timing when revealing more snippets as to why Ben is acting in this manner drives "Seven Pounds" on and keeps you engaged with what is happening.
Will Smith in the lead role of Ben Thomas takes us through a wide range of emotions throughout "Seven Pounds" going from depression and despair through to love and light heartedness. This rollercoaster ride pulls you in to feeling attached to the plight of Ben and Will Smith again demonstrates that he is one of the finest actors on the movie scene at the moment. It is actually quite clever casting to have Will Smith as the main character as most people love him which makes the movie all the more emotional.
Making "Seven Pounds" more than just a one man show is Rosario Dawson who plays the unexpected emotional attachment, Emily Posa, a woman who although dealing with a mountain of personal issues manages to understand the slightly confusing Ben and provides empathy towards him. The interactions between Smith and Dawson really go some way to making this movie so emotional. You get drawn into their relationship and are championing it even though you suspect that all is not as it seems.
What this all boils down to is if you enjoy movies which manipulate your emotions, not cheaply but with well crafted scenes and drama then "Seven Pounds" is a must see. Not just once as you need to watch it at least twice to see how well crafted the plot is with all of its subtle clues. But don't expect this to be another big budget Will Smith movie as it is a much more sensitive drama which will have you engrossed right from scene one.