Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Seven Pounds

Seven Pounds (2008)
Directed by: Gabriele Muccino
Written by: Grant Nieporte
Starring: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Barry Pepper
Rating: PG-13
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?

I'm back again! This is the second installment of the Archives Report: Vacation Edition. I watched plenty of films over my 9 day vacation, so there is still more to come.

Hopefully your wounds aren't too salted from all the outrageous claims I made in the previous entry, and that you can look past it into my relative objectivity from this point forward.

To be frank, this is not my freshman viewing of Seven Pounds. Far from it, in fact. But I happened to watch said film with three people who WERE watching it for the very first time, and it brought back some memories. I think the best time anyone watches this film is the first time.

That being said, I don't want to give away any plot details for those embarking on their maiden "Seven Pounds" voyage. I will try to keep the synopsis brief and aloof.

Brief and Aloof Synopsis:

A man called Ben with a fateful secret (Will Smith; Men in Black)  embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by forever changing the lives of seven strangers, including a heart transplant patient (Rosario Dawson; Men in Black II) and a blind man (Woody Harrelson; Zombieland).


Hopefully I didn't give too much away. I took some liberties from the brief synopsis posted on IMDB and that's all!

I still don't want to say that much about the movie. Will Smith has always been one of my favorite actors, and he never stops short of proving his dramatic chops. Dawson and Harrelson both really shined in their roles as well.

Barry Pepper (The Green Mile) actually gave one of the most impressive, un-sung performances of the film. He didn't have an incredibly large role, and at first his role is unclear. After his role becomes clearer, Pepper shines in this extremely dramatic and impactful role.

The remaining supporting cast is strong but does not stand out. Smith, Dawson, Harrelson and Pepper command the scenes they are in.

Now that I have gotten through my thoughts on the actors (I have college level acting training, you know!) I will start in on my favorite element of this film: the story's presentation.

One of the basic but fundamental elements to writing or creating a successful script is to create some kind of questions. When the audience has questions, they hang on and become interested in the answers. A main source of criticism that I read on films and plays alike is that they didn't resolve all their questions, or the questions weren't deep enough to care about the answers.

While fundamental, Seven Pounds uses this element well. When you watch this for the first time and are remotely interested in what is going on, you will have a TON of questions. Why? Because I did, when I saw this movie in theatres back in 2008. How do I know YOU will? ....I don't, but I'm assuming for 1 reason, and that would be the quizzical looks and explicit questions asked by my three movie watching companions. My steadfast response continued to be "Keep watching".

Seven Pounds was succesful in part because of the strong performances of its main actors, but mainly because of its commitment to basic dramatic elements, and executing them well.


I recommend this movie. It is imperative that you have a few tissues handy when you decide to embark on this particular quest. However, what we learn from this movie is that ultimate good can come from ultimate bad, and Barry Pepper has some great acting chops!

Seriously, I can't give too much away, but watch this. You won't regret it.

Thanks for reading as always. I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions! Comment, Facebook us or Tweet @archivesreport! Thanks again! God bless!