Seven Pounds: Donation and Man’s Humanity

Ben Thomas is an IRS agent in the film Seven Pounds (2008) directed by Gabriele Muccino. An astounding element of the movie is Will Smith’s acting of Ben Thomas’ character; the audience can tell that the man Ben Thomas has something to hide, but that mystery isn’t sinister just troubled. This appearance of acting in character is developed through the artistic understanding of Muccino’s direction. The direction is further developed through the use of a love story as written into the script by Grant Nieporte.

Emily Posa, as played by Rosario Dawson, is the love interest of Ben Thomas who is going to give her his heart. In the story, this type of altruistic heroism only adds to the depth of the character of Ben Thomas. Such depth is accentuated by the quiet scenes filled with love and not lust between these characters. Muccino’s direction is at its apex in the field moments between these two characters when Emily expresses to Ben (without her knowing that he will give her his heart) how she would just like to be able to run.

She cannot run, due to the condition of her heart and so her desire to do this simple act becomes a pivotal moment of decision for Ben. He decides then that his heart his hers, both physically and metaphorically. The overlays of music to emphasize the tragedy of Ben’s past (the audience eventually understands through Ben’s brother that he had lost his wife and has since been donating his body; bone marrow, liver, kidney, etc. which adds up to the title of the film Seven Pounds) are done with subtle ingenuity.

Such events are best expressed with music in the dance scene between Emily and Ben and in the juxtaposition of Emily receiving Ben’s heart, and Ben’s death in a bathtub via jellyfish sting. It is the flashbacks which allow the initial ambiguity of the film to lessen as the story progresses and it is the humanity of the characters which truly stays with the audience long after they’ve watched the film. In truth, Seven Pounds allows one to feel as though humanity isn’t as cruel as Nihilist believe it to be, but rather, one man is capable of so much good in the world that it simply must be passed forward.

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