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Don't miss Seven Pounds
Shahid Hussain | February 13, 2009 11:26 IST
Warning: This film will add weight to your thoughts.You know you are watching one of the good films when the title comes to make sense as the credits roll and you gather an "Aha!" moment. Seven Pounds is not only that but has much more to offer than a tormenting plot, drama, message and the respect that Will Smith [Images] demands at the box-office. And let us save all the comparisons with Pursuit of Happyness for later.
Director Gabriele Muccino who gave us the wonderful The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) teams up with Will Smith to feed us yet another riveting piece of absorbing cinema. Even though, it isn't quite as persuasive as its predecessor, Seven Pounds is to be owned for keeps.
Talking about this film would give away too many intimate details. However, on a succinct note, in this film Will Smith plays Ben Johnson, an IRS agent with a fateful secret who embarks on a journey of redemption and determination to help change lives of seven strangers. Dressed in a dapper suit Smith leaves no stone unturned to evaluate the genuineness of the seven strangers whose lives he is about to change with the help of a fake ID borrowed from his own brother played by Michael Ealy.
This tear-jerker unfolds and ends with a phone call and moves at a pace that may be quite slow for the average movie-goer but intellectually it is never dragging. The film's dichotomy -- in the secret and 'the plan' is as interesting as its unique plot and the animals/creatures employed (even if they seem like an obvious gimmick initially). The film has beautiful locales, interesting visuals and proficient camera angles with its share of strong moments. That said, there are dull and incoherent bits too which is why the film falls short of reaching the magnificence altar.
Director Gabriele Muccino makes Will Smith perform his career's most difficult expressions using every pixel of his onscreen charisma to his full advantage. And no doubt Smith delivers. Pay close attention to the scene in the hospital where he communicates with an old lady who refuses to speak to anyone. The two times Oscar nominated actor continues to pack powerhouse performances and looks evergreen since the days of Six Degrees of Separation, Ali, The Pursuit of Happyness and now Seven Pounds with the mention of I am Legend, Enemy of the State and Hancock to complete his versatile image.
Another very strong performance worth a mention is Rosario Dawson [Images] as Emily Posa (suffering from congenital heart failure) who provides the much needed vivacity and colour whenever Smith's grey suits begin to cloud us. The romance between Smith and Dawson translates very well on-screen and you'd only want to see more of it. Certainly, Seven Pounds is not a Valentine's Day material per se but this romantic angle should be more than enough for lovers looking to kiss promises to each other.
Comparatively the film is definitely not as good as The Pursuit of Happyness, way less inspiring than The Diving Bell and the Butterfly but it is nevertheless a must watch and a collector's item for every Will Smith fan.
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