DRAMA; 2hr 3min
STARRING: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson
Slow dance: Smith and Rosario
Demanding attention from the word Go, Seven Pounds begins with distraught IRS agent Ben Thomas (Smith) calling in his suicide to 911. Why? Watch and learn because whatever else he is, Ben Thomas is not your average tax collector. For one thing, he only seems to deal with sick people; Dawson is all grace as the ailing woman for whom he falls. For another, something mighty hefty is clearly weighing him down. Plus, he is set on somehow making amends — to people he either barely or doesn’t know.
Director Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness) and screenwriter Grant Nieporte unfurl Ben’s secrets in teasing increments, and Smith, his containment as unnerving as the turmoil that underpins it, walks commandingly through every revelation. He is such an engaging actor — exactly what is called for with a character so guarded and oblique. This is a movie that breeds prickles of unease in the best and most unusual sense. And only when its questions are answered do you fully appreciate the beauty of its design.