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December 24, 2008 > Movie Review: Seven Pounds

Movie Review: Seven Pounds

By Susana Nunez

Rated PG-13

Long gone are the days of the Fresh Prince and his light-hearted songs about the summertime. Will Smith has once again proven himself to be an incredible dramatic actor. Directed by Gabrielle Muccino, the director of Smith's previous tear-jerker The Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds is an intense look into Ben Thomas's (Will Smith) psyche during the brief period of time before he commits suicide. He has a few wishes to fulfill before he goes through with it, though, as he wants to help change the lives of seven others when he decides it's time to end his own.

Thomas seeks to find a group of individuals who find themselves in difficult situations because of circumstances beyond their control. However, he only helps those who, through it all, have remained good, kind people. All he wants in return is for them to live their own lives to the fullest and never question why he did this for them. It's soon revealed, however, that the reason behind his generosity and obsession with helping seven people in particular is because of guilt he feels that a previous group of seven people lost their lives. The only way Thomas can make up in any way for what he did is by giving up his own life in order to ensure the livelihood of another seven. After losing the person dearest to his heart, he wants to literally give himself and everything he owns away and end it all.

Smith stars alongside Rosario Dawson in the film, among others, but Dawson gives a truly outstanding performance. She plays the role of Emily Posa, a young woman living with a serious heart condition that is getting worse. Posa doesn't have much time left and connects with Thomas on this level. Her body constantly reminds her of how weak she has become and is preoccupied with her own thoughts about death. However, as opposed to Thomas, she only wishes for a chance to live.

Hopefully, Smith will continue to follow this path into drama and take on more serious roles. From his facial expressions to his mannerisms and delivery, he has developed the talent to capture a character and bring viewers into the story. Seven Pounds is definitely worth a trip to the theater but be prepared. Make sure to bring plenty of tissue, and girls, make sure to wear waterproof make-up. Yes, it's one of those movies, but well worth it.

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