Gabrielle Muccino is back after “The Pursuit Of Happiness”. And he is back with Bang with a capital “B”. With Muccino we have his production partner Will Smith on our platter. The Muccino-Smith combo has created a catastrophe on our souls. But nevertheless its vastly different from “The Pursuit…”. While the “The Pursuit…” was archetype and psychologically American in character, “Seven Pounds” plays with the deepest emotions, inhibitions and aspirations of a bereaved human character.
Ben Thomas is an official from the Apogee Aeronautics, who meets with a devastating accident on the high ways of Las Vegas. The accident has occurred partially because of his absentmindedness. Ben’s wife gets slaughtered in the mishap. 6 other in another car loose their life. A repentful Ben vows to help the families of the deceased.
And what an exotic treat Will Smith is! It’s well known that the black beauty is arguably the highest paid actor, but it must be “well known” that he is one of the finest actors of contemporary global filmdom. From “Hitch” to “Hancock”, and from “Enemy of The State” to “The Pursuit of Happiness”, Will Smith is growing and maturing as an actor with leaps and bounds. Throughout the 120mins the voyeur witnesses Smith as a dejected and devastated Ben Thomas, who is attempting to replace his tears with a fugitive smile. With eyes on the brink of a tear (yet withholding them) and lips forcefully widened for a dry little smile, Will Smith is simply better than the best. The sequence when Smith replies Rosario Dawson (Emily Posa) that he is a “vulnerable tax collector”, exhibits immense untapped passion. The sequence of the childhood Ben standing infront of white jelly fishes in a blue aquarium is simply enigmatic and surrealist. The entire treatment of photography and script reminds of the “mundaneness” discovered in the films of Fellini, Visconti, Antonioni and other Italian neorealist masters. Muccino’s camera travels through every nook and corner of Emily Posa’s pavilion making it a beehive of both heaven and hell upon earth. Barring Smith, the rest of the cast is just scintillating. Rosario Dawson, Sarah Jane Morris, Robinne Lee and Madison Pettis give awesome appearances on celluloid. Woody Hallerson just blows away the mind with his 12min stay at the crease.
“Seven Pounds” is not a great film. But it vows to be one. And it remains honest in its earnest. The voyage which the protagonist makes to reach heaven is that through hell, but it only reminds us of the love, passion and humanity from which mankind has been derived of late. Sometimes the film becomes too repetitive of itself, but still sequences when Ben advances to annihilate himself after pasting a sticker on the lavatory floor denoting “DON’T TOUCH THE JELLY FISH”, arrests the viewer to the next level. “The Pursuit…” was a film lambasting the ramshackle capitalist corporate society of New York. “Seven Pounds” emphasizes USA’s psychological connotation.
“Seven Pounds” is seven minds, seven psychologies and one honest endeavour.