let's just get to the quick of this. i tend to enjoy films that the majority of my friends despise. also, i usually give thumbs-up to films that the professional reviewers poo-poo. it's a great relationship really: when they say nay, i run to the ticket window with unfolded bills; when they say yay, i turn to my growing cache of b-flicks (growing in thanks to john barber).
with this is mind, i will stage my argument against SEVEN POUNDS. i'm feeling rather listy these days. here's a smathering of what i did not like.
- predictable: the plot is spilled out in the first ten minutes
- woody harrellson: haven't loved him since CHEERS
- rosario dawson: she cat-fights well, that's the nicest thing i've even been able say
- the music: somebody should be punished for this much sappiness
- emotional manipulation: there were moments that pushed too hard
- gas: i felt a little bloated towards the end, maybe due to the french onion dip.
however, with all that said, i still easily give SEVEN POUNDS 4.7 dj jazzy jeff's out of 5, and all for the following reasons:
- predictions excused: the transparency of the plot is made up for by the sincerity of the performances. i believed these people. there stories resonated with something in me. particularly will smith, whose quest for redemption, though overly misguided, soundly remarkably familiar. sure, dostoevsky probably could have explored guilt on a deeper intellectual level, but SEVEN POUNDS dives into the humanity of remorse.
- will smith: the man can do no wrong. even when the screenplay sucks, he always makes me believe it.
- rosario dawson: the lady plum blew me away. didn't see this coming. great. beautiful. pure lovely. i wanted to personally give her someone's internal organs. who knew rosario dawson was a heart attack waiting to happen? she convinced me.
- cinematography: regardless of what tito says (and i realize he's a professional), the film is visually stunning, shimmering on all edges with that carpe-diem flavored majesty - which i easily fall for at times.
- jellyfish: i just like them.
the official hamsterian verdict: the yays far outweigh the nays here. guilt and redemption are sticky, difficult themes to explore, and God forbid doing so without heavy doses of honest melodrama. anyone who has ever teetered on the edge of self-forgiveness or destruction knows the constant wash of tidal emotions that propel the process. the greatness of SEVEN POUNDS is not found in forms of literary genius or cinematic tricks; rather, it steeps from the deeply human conflict of man vs. self and the ways such a battle can possibly breathe life.