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Seven Pounds

Seven Pounds

Director:Gabriele Muccino
Cast:Will Smith, Rosario Dawons, Woody Harrelson, Michael Ealy, Barry Pepper
Release Date:2008

By Bret McCabe | Posted 12/17/2008

Seven Pounds dedicates itself to the what and the why. What is IRS agent Ben Thomas (Will Smith) doing harassing a blind salesman (Woody Harrelson) in the opening minutes? What interest does Thomas have in the attractive Emily (Rosario Dawson) he tracks to a Los Angeles hospital? What is the plan Thomas asks his longtime friend (Barry Pepper) to stick to? And as all these puzzle pieces start to fall into place over the first half of the movie, that other question looms: Why? As the movie's elusive marketing campaign and allusive title make unclear, something is off in Thomas' life, and Seven Pounds is going to right it. Director Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness) creates a constricting web of a storyline, filling in the big picture in seemingly random small patches dotted with innocuously obvious clues until a larger whole emerges. And while it's a somewhat effective device--you understand what Thomas is doing pretty early--that will undoubtedly turn on the emotional waterworks in the easily led, it's hard not to feel manipulated by this shallow and contrived penitence porn.

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