Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Gives me hope.
This film is selected from ‘The 250’
It’s a pretty well-known fact that I am a fan of Will Smith. I just about parade that fact around like its Thanksgiving morning. In elementary school, I happily sang his songs because I knew his songs by heart. Still do. Yes, I also like his music. So sue me. In that respect, I may be a bit biased on his work, but that doesn’t mean I’m not fair. There are some of his things I don’t like, but we’re not talking about that today, since I love Seven Pounds. I know Rotten Tomatoes has the film rated really low, and to be honest with you, I really don’t understand the rotten score. This film is phenomenal.
Alright so, our pal Ben (Will Smith) starts off the film by immediately telling everyone that he’s going to commit suicide – and then it rewinds and tells us how he gets to that point. Throughout the film, you know the guy has it in for himself. He is massively depressed, the tone of the film itself is morose, it’s pretty bad, but at the same time, you love this guy because he is the most honest and selfless man you’ll ever meet. Now, as the film progresses, he takes his time meeting people and testing their worth. He wants to help people in need, but he has this thing about making sure they aren’t just lying about what they need, because let’s face it, people lie. Big time. When he meets Emily, a girl with a bad heart, he begins to fall in love, and that depressed heart of his begins to slowly change.
I’ll be honest, it was really hard not to just give away everything in that plot description, because there’s a lot of depth to this story. I remember my first time watching it not actually knowing what was going on, and then getting blown away as the entire thing was unraveled. This time though, I’m not entirely sure if the film is 100% predictable and I was stupid, or if it was done so well that it was like a Sixth Sense deal where another viewing is even more revealing than the first. I don’t know, all I know is that this film gives me hope for the human race.
Rotten Tomatoes says this film is grim and morose, and they are absolutely correct, but what exactly is so bad about that? It’s better than melodramatic, don’t you think? People actually feel depression, and this film reflects the ugly truth of what depression feels like, which is eternal bleakness. Those of you that have felt it know that this film speaks magnitudes of truth. Not only that, but it takes a deeply saddened individual, and made him selfless, making him people-oriented. Helping those in need, practically being a superhero or guardian angel. His life is in shreds, but there is something just about his actions in this film. It feels right. That takes me to what Rotten Tomatoes said next, which was that it had an illogical plot. Only if you are a cold-hearted monster that only cares for himself. The plot of this film makes perfect sense, and I would spell it out for you if I felt like spoiling the whole world…but I’m not going to. That would be selfish of me.
As for the acting, I have seen most of Will Smith’s stuff, and I can say this is one of his best performances. I can’t say for certain, obviously, but it really is phenomenal. We’re talking about a guy who is famous for being an action star and making people laugh on Fresh Prince. He needed to fill a role of somebody overrun with depression and selfless at the same time. No easy task, and he did it believably. His chemistry with Rosario Dawson, to me, is legendary. I’ll say the same thing about the chemistry in Men in Black II (she’s in that too). Heck, their quasi-relationship in this film kind of satisfied their almost relationship in MIB that never happened. I know, I’m a schmuck. Anyways, she had to portray someone with a failing heart. Imagine being an actress with a perfectly healthy heart and fit body having to fake serious illness like that having never experienced it before…that’s skill, people. That’s skill.
So, so much good here. I don’t even know where to begin. It does a fantastic job at portraying depression and how someone would see the world in that state. It also does a great job at showing how great a world could be if you had someone like Ben in everyone’s lives. His character alone is a symbol of righteousness and poetry.
Yes, the film is grim and morose. There’s always a sad song playing or somebody crying, or something else that’s equally depressing. I admit it, but again that was part of the point. It’s the ugly truth of depression, and that’s something a lot of people can’t handle. So if you want a movie about bouncing and laughing bunny rabbits, you might want to look elsewhere.
Ben Thomas: The first time I ever saw a box jellyfish, I was twelve. Our father took us to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I never forgot what he said… That it was the most deadly creature on earth. To me it was just the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.