Friday, July 10, 2009

DJG / Seven Pounds

Seven Pounds * * 1/2
Directed by:
Gabriele Muccino / 2008

These Pounds of Flesh Need More, Need Less…

I can't help but feel more sympathy for this movie as a movie, than for its struggling characters and wanna-be-wanna-die tear jerk story. Am I the jerk? "Seven Pounds" tries really-really hard to be a great movie and by the time it can be redeemed and wash us in its waters of mystery, it's more than two frustrating hours too late. I felt I was being put through the motions and tried to be moved in mysterious ways (Thanks Bono). On a whole, it's not a bad idea for a movie and not exactly executed poorly and I don't wish to explain the movie. Just that, it haphazardly tries for the popular gimmick of non-linear narrative, mystery, multiple characters and so-on and when done like this, frustrates me from start to finish. Most master directors can't present cohesively a film in such a way and I think it was too much to tackle and pull together in this case for Gabriele Muccino. Simplify please! Jenny Craig, please direct! I agree with others, primarily those backing the picture that you should go in without spoil. People spoke of, and/or didn't speak of, the mysterious shroud of an ending in "Seven Pounds" like it was the next great M. Night Shyamalan. Though, I'm still waiting for "Seven Pounds" to hook and grab me. It would have served better both edited down and fleshed out. Does that make sense? Watch it and you might agree. As well, the film feels primed and rushed for last year's awards season and that may have something to do with it, at least for me. How many could-be great films don't get the proper incubation time they deserve because of this (Thank you “The Road” for waiting a year to hopefully get things right)? I realize that this movie has and will have its fans. One attracter is star power Will Smith. He’s a talented actor with a wide-range in this film. I’ll see anything he’s steering, but he’s almost too capable of audience manipulation in this one. The moves are coming too easy for him here. Knowing what I'm getting into, I think I'd like it better the second time, but I'd have to first have the desire to stomach "Seven Pounds" again. I’m just glad this isn’t a series of seven movies! -djg

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