Seven Pounds Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Will Smith’s track record at the box office will likely be enough to draw crowds into his latest film Seven Pounds. His metamorphosis from teen rapper to one of Hollywood’s most versatile male actors has earned him scores of well-deserved accolades. But this venture—one that swirls around the number seven—may challenge his viewers to the point of discomfort.
In a mere seven seconds, Ben Thomas’ (Will Smith) life is irrevocably altered. All the regrets in the world can’t change the outcome or lessen the pain of the dark secret he carries inside. It is the defining moment in his life and becomes the catalyst behind his new approach to living in which he vows to better the lives of others.
With an odd combination of compassion and caustic sharpness, Ben, an IRS employee, plagues the private existence of various individuals in very personal ways, using means that are at the very least illegal, if not unethical. Drawing them into the emotional rollercoaster he is experiencing himself, their journey is as unsettling and disjointed as the opening scenes of the film, which flash between a myriad of characters and scenarios. At one point Ben brutally berates an innocent helpline operator (Woody Harrelson). Only moments later he is seen offering assistance to an elderly woman (Fiona Hale) and giving gardening advice to a neighbor (Amanda Carlin).
In a seemingly methodical manner, he approaches the administrator of a seniors’ care center (Tim Kelleher), a volunteer hockey coach (Bill Smitrovich) and a social worker (Judyann Elder) during his unexplained, invasive spree. Then Ben tracks down Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson) and confronts the ailing heart patient with an overdue tax account in the middle of a crowded hospital cafeteria. Although their initial meeting is ill timed, especially for Emily, their subsequent encounters soften the experience. Before long Ben appears to have found a salve for his tortured soul.
However, as the layers of his painful past are peeled back, the antidote for his unhappiness becomes more and more troublesome. Seeking to atone for those horrific seven seconds, Ben’s redemptive quest leads down a path as equally disturbing as the event that put him on the course. With a smattering of profanities and a sexual encounter between two adults, this film’s most disconcerting content focuses on death. The bloody aftermath of a gruesome crash, a fatal self-administered poisoning and several life-threatening illnesses add to this script’s heavy tone. Raising ethical and moral issues, the film gives viewers a flawed hero whose attempts to right his wrongs present a dangerous option, especially to impressionable teens and adults that may be suffering from their own feelings of remorse or guilt.
Though Smith has taken on other characters seeking redemption in films like The Pursuit of Happyness and I Am Legend, parental caution is strongly advised before introducing older teens to his latest big screen persona.
Starring Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson. Running time: 123 minutes. Theatrical release December 19, 2008. Updated April 15, 2009
Rating & Content Info
Why is Seven Pounds rated PG-13? Seven Pounds is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for thematic material, some disturbing content and a scene of sensuality.
A mix of brief, often disjointed scenes make it difficult to get a grip on Ben Thomas in this film that includes depictions of abuse, characters with terminal illnesses, and a suicide. Illegal methods are used to obtain personal information about individuals. A horrible car crash leaves bloody corpses strewn across the accident scene. Depictions of surgery and medical procedures are seen. Domestic violence is discussed with some effects of it being shown. Adults engage in sexual activity following a dinner date (the couple removes their clothes, embrace and kiss while in bed, and are shown waking up together). Characters drink with a meal. Infrequent profanities and terms of Christian Deity are contained in the script.
Page last updated April 15, 2009
Seven Pounds Parents' Guide
What drives Ben to atone for his mistake? Can guilt or remorse motivate us to do good things or can it become an unhealthy emotional response? Do you feel it is important to pay restitution for mistakes or injuries caused to others?
How did the receivers of Ben’s generosity respond? Were his gifts realistic? How would you feel in a similar situation?
If you wanted to bestow a substantial gift on a stranger, how would you go about finding the perfect recipient? With many worthwhile charities, organizations and individuals in need of support, do you donate? If so, how do you choose which ones to support?
The most recent home video release of Seven Pounds movie is March 31, 2009. Here are some details…
Release Date: 31 March 2009
Seven Pounds releases to the home video market on DVD and Blu-ray. Both disc formats offer the following bonus materials: deleted scenes, commentary by director Gabriele Muccino and four featurettes (Seven Views on Seven Pounds, Creating the Perfect Ensemble, The Box Jellyfish: Worlds Deadliest Co-Star and Emilys Passion: The Art of the Printing Press).
The Blu-ray edition also includes these extras: a Digital Copy of the movie (for PC, PSP®, Mac or iPod) and BD-Live.