A Movie to Avoid (Unless You Really Want to be Depressed)

Seven Pounds–This is a very well made film, with great acting jobs, wonderful direction . . . and a profoundly dark, depressing theme. SPOILER ALERT: I think it’s safe for me to spoil this film for you, since I don’t recommend it, and it’s been out for forever, and it’s totally predictable anyway. So here goes: Will Smith plays a character who checked his text messages while driving, thereby causing an accident that resulted in the death of his wife and six other people. He feels so terrible about this, that he decides to commit suicide by jellyfish. (Meaning, he gets in a tub with a deadly jellyfish. I am not making this up.) But because he’s a Text Messager with a Heart of Gold, he decides to donate all his organs to worthy people, and he spends the last years of his life searching out those worthy people. In the process, he falls for a girl who he ultimately, literally, gives his heart to. I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t get behind this one. DKC didn’t mind it so much, but as far as I’m concerned, there are enough suicidal people on this earth of ours without giving them great ideas about being noble and courageous by killing themselves. Suicide is a terrible thing, and it doesn’t matter one lick to me what happens to a suicidal person’s organs after they’re done with them. It doesn’t somehow make that suicide more noble, blah blah blah. Will Smith’s character is an MIT graduate, a gifted engineer. If he wanted to do something noble, he could have started a charity, devoted his life to doing good from then on–you name it. Killing himself was not the route to go. To me, this movie is like what would have happened if Scrooge, after he discovers what an idiot he’s been, offs himself and donates all his money to Tiny Tim. Sniff sniff. Aren’t there better life affirming themes we can get behind?

Anyone out there seen this? Care to disagree? For me, the film ends up with two stars. It’s finely made, as I said–but it’s just about a subject that doesn’t deserve to be on celluloid.

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2 Responses to A Movie to Avoid (Unless You Really Want to be Depressed)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I agree (as usual) 🙂
    You sum it all up perfectly. This film was moving and it’s easy to identify all of its merits, but the underlying concept doesn’t pull it off for me as a movie. This is something I imagine might work better in literary format – some depressing stories are more successful that way, it seems. Maybe we’re more willing to accept poetic justice in that format (or maybe it’s just that I am). My favorite novel, The House of Mirth, is a fantastic (though depressing) book, but it’s not a movie I would recommend to anyone who’s not a huge Edith Wharton fan.
    – Gretel

    • brycemoore says:

      Re: I agree (as usual) 🙂
      Funny–both comments on my Facebook feed of my blog have been that they liked the movie. Maybe it’s just a test of how much people are tolerant of depressing films. 🙂

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