Emotional drama starring Will Smith as Ben Thomas, a tax inspector racked with guilt for mistakes he made in the past and spiralling into depression following the death of his wife. Paralysed by the knowledge of a dark secret, he decides to redeem himself by bringing positive changes to the lives of seven strangers. The film co-stars Rosario Dawson as Emily, a woman with congenital heart failure who is deep in debt, and Woody Harrelson, who plays blind pianist Ezra Turner.
Gabriele Muccino (THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS) directs this tale of a man devastated by a tragedy in his past who is seeking redemption. To the outside world, Ben Thomas (Will Smith) is a cordial, atypically helpful agent for the Internal Revenue Service. But when he's alone, Ben is tormented by a tragic incident in his past, sinking into grief. He's even cut off communication with his beloved brother (Michael Ealy). Nevertheless, Ben is especially interested in strangers with challenging circumstances. He's taken particular interest in Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson), a lovely young woman with congenital heart disease who is being audited by the IRS. Ben finds himself falling for Emily, and has to choose the best way to follow his heart.
Smith wears Ben's heart on his sleeve, the pain of his past loss and his impending future apparent in his face both when he is alone and when he begins to feel happiness--which he doesn't think he deserved--with Emily. He also nails Ben's pleasant work persona, masking his pain as he charms strangers and earns their trust. Dawson is beguiling as Emily, whose only wish is to have more time to experience life, especially once she finds love with Ben. With flashbacks mixed into the story, SEVEN POUNDS takes a circuitous route, saving some surprises for its end. Woody Harrelson appears as a blind man, and Barry Pepper plays Ben's best friend and confidante, Dan.
The mysteriously titled Seven Pounds
stars Will Smith as Ben Thomas, who flashes his badge as an IRS agent to gain entrance into the lives of seven strangers in need. To each, he offers something that will reverse their troubles, seeking to atone for a haunting past mistake. But when Ben starts falling in love with a young woman with heart trouble (Rosario Dawson), his carefully laid plans threaten to collapse. To reveal more of the story would diminish it. Smith is an engaging, charismatic presence, but the impact of Seven Pounds
comes from Dawson--she has the kind of emotional transparency that shimmers off the screen. Which is crucial, because Seven Pounds requires considerable suspension of disbelief; some scenes push and pull at plausibility, and you may question a few plot turns after the movie is over. But as the story unfolds, the performances can carry you over these bumps. If you surrender to its gently circling rhythms and its luminous images (including the glowing undulations of a poisonous jellyfish), Seven Pounds
will pack an emotional wallop, heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. Also featuring Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan
), Michael Ealy (Sleeper Cell
), and Woody Harrelson. --Bret Fetzer Stills from Seven Pounds (click for larger image)