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Starring: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Barry Pepper

Director: Gabriele Muccino

Screenplay: Grant Nieporte

Cinematography: Philippe Le Sourd

Original Score: Angelo Milli

Running Time: 123 Mins.

Will Smith in Art-house film shocker! Ok not quite, but there is no doubting that in Seven Pounds, Smith (acting as star and producer) and director Muccino were going for something very emotionally heavy, with an Indie film tinge, well they got one part right. This is one heavy film, and not in a good way. Hard to reveal too much of the story without spoiling the ‘twist’ which the studio have tried their damnedest to keep under wraps, probably because other than the twist there really isn’t alot else here.

Muccino and Smith’s last effort was The Pursuit of Happyness, a film which managed to balance sentimentality with two excellent performances by Smith’s Jr. and Sr. although it often felt borderline mawkish it never quite crossed that line making it one of the most heartfelt films of recent years and getting the balance just right, Smith in particular recieved a very well earnt Best Actor nomination at the Academy Awards 2007.

No such plaudits will be garnered by Seven Pounds, and while Smith is once again very good in his part, it simply doesn’t work in the film as a whole, with his character being neither likeable nor eliciting much of any kind of response, the worst criticism for a film of this kind, that being one which aims to tug at your heart strings whilst getting you thinking.

Without spoiling what little the film does hold all I would say is that the so called ‘twist’ really doesn’t pay off for all the slush that has come before. Opening with a teary Smith making a call to announce his suicide we then proceed to see semingly endless scenes of him helping random strangers and flash backs to a happier life with his wife/partner, it all comes together in the end, but this kind post-modern narrative jumping really needs to have a hook to keep your interest with some kind of through line. Seven Pounds simply doesn’t have it.

And smattered amongst all this we have possibly one of THE dullest love stories played out by Rosario Dawson, the damaged girl with a weak heart, oh how ironic! Then theres a pet Box Jellyfish, a blind Woody Harrelson and a strange relationship with the little seen brother, oh how curious it all is, well no actually it’s not.

VERDICT

The closest you will come to a Will Smith Art-house film, Seven Pounds is deeply dull, and lacking in anything approaching a sense of pacing. Not even the intrigue of the ‘twist’ or Smith’s usually electric charaisma makes this worth the slog.

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