Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Movie Review: Seven Pounds

It's nice to read about other adventures of parents with their furry (and human) children, true. It's nice to share that info, too. But today, I thought I'd provide a bit of a newsworthy service, in the form of a movie review.

Last night, in a rare turn of events, my husband and I went out to see a movie. On a whim, we changed plans and saw Seven Pounds, starring Will Smith ( The movie asks a lot of its viewers, on several levels. It's written in medias res, or, as my high school Latin teacher would say, "ya know, in the middle of stuff." You begin the movie with an extreme close-up shot of an extremely emotional Will Smith, of which you know nothing about. Nor the cause of the emotion. In this way, the movie asks a great deal of patience (and suspension of expectation) from its audience.

Patience, from an American audience, is a tough thing to expect.

Over the course of the little over two hours, we begin to piece together what Will Smith's character meant when he said, in the opening scenes of the film, "In seven days
God created the world. It took me seven seconds to shatter mine." He must help seven individuals, all very different people with very different circumstances. We learn much more about some than others, and in a few we literally feel their hopes and dreams as they're unfolding.

The film also relies on subtleties that, if we aren't careful, we may miss. This is one of the greatest treasures of the film. They are so wonderful you can hear slight whispers between audience members to one another, to ensure they each caught it.

We find ourselves on a journey, and we have no choice but to wait it out.

In one particular character, Rosario Dawson's character, it's heartbreaking. No, heart wrenching..for the character, and suddenly, for us as well, as we finally learn the true extent of pain and suffering. Pain, and all kinds of suffering, are central themes of the movie. Dawson's character proves to be the tie that binds, and everything comes together quickly for us at the end.

For anyone who has ever experienced any kind of loss in their life, particularly a significant one, this will be an emotional journey through that personal pain. It will cause all of us to examine ourselves, and our relationships, just a little bit more closely. In one entity, a simultaneous celebration of life and pursuit of suffering.

This is one rare movie that everyone should see, as we will all come out better versions of ourselves.




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