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Film / Seven Pounds

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"In seven days, God created the world. And in seven seconds, I shattered mine."

The 2008 film starring Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Barry Pepper, and Woody Harrelson, to name a few stars.

The film follows the enigmatic Ben Thomas, who spends his time donating whatever organs he can to seven unfortunate people to atone for something that is revealed over the course of the film. During this time, he meets Emily Posa, an Ill Girl who has both a rare heart condition and a rare blood type. As he soon falls in love with Emily and helps her out, he is soon left with a painful decision that may or may not be easy to figure out, especially when his past comes back to haunt him and the illness worsens for Emily.


This movie shows examples of:

  • Artistic License – Biology: It's extremely doubtful that a box jellyfish could have survived for so long in an unheated jar.
  • Bath Suicide: Using a box jellyfish.
  • Billy Needs an Organ: Emily, who is struggling to get one due to her rare blood type.
  • Black Best Friend: Inverted. Although Tim is clearly this to Dan, Tim is the lead character.
  • Chekhov's Gun: At least two: the list of names and Tim's pet jellyfish.
  • Doomed Protagonist: We know from the beginning that the main character will commit suicide.
  • Elder Abuse: Tim decides against donating one of his organs to a retirement home director after finding out the home mistreats their patients.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Death by jellyfish? Not only painful, but just flat out brutal to watch.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Once you piece together how Tim will kill himself, it's time to play the waiting game!
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  • Gambit Roulette: In order to pull off what Tim did, one would have to put a lot of faith in God to pull off several miracles, such as disabling a certain neurotoxin so his organs would be in working order.
  • Happily Married: Dan and his wife clearly are.
  • Heroic Suicide: Tim chooses option B in the Sadistic Choice (see below).
  • How We Got Here: The film opens with a scene towards the end, where the hero calls in to report his own death. Then we cut back to the beginning of the story to unravel the meaning of this scene.
  • Literary Allusion Title: The film's title is taken from The Merchant of Venice. Tim owes seven people "a pound of flesh" for the seven who died in the accident.
  • The Lost Lenore: Tim's fianceé.
  • Manly Tears: Dan breaks down when Tim calls him and says, "It's time."
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Tim never gets to say goodbye to Emily nor his own brother in person, although he leaves them letters.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer left much to be explained about the movie, which was both its charm and its downfall. Some movie fans thought it was nice that it didn't ruin all the plot details; others ended up utterly confused as to what the movie was about. The film itself was like that too, until the very end.
    • To a lot of people the trailer indicated that Tim was a government agent who was recruiting special people for some reason.
  • Oscar Bait: The movie was clearly made with the purpose of winning Smith the Best Actor Oscar which he didn't get for The Pursuit of Happyness. It didn't even get nominated.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Played with: "Um... it's pink." "It's salmon."
  • The Reveal: Ben is not really Ben. Ben is really Tim Thomas, having stolen his brother Ben's IRS credentials in order to use the privileges and power they carry to assist in his mission of atonement.
  • Sadistic Choice: Tim had one hell of a choice to make: spend a month with the woman you love or kill yourself to give her your heart so she can live out her life to the fullest. Life sucks, dunnit?
  • Secret Test of Character: Tim's abusive phone call to Ezra, who passes the test by not growing a spine. Which is another great lesson. There is a way to be 'good' and have a spine. Accepting abuse doesn't make you good (something that Film Brain interpreted when he reviewed this film), but people like Ezra who work in customer service are told to never lash out at customers, no matter what. Ezra remained committed to doing his job the way he was supposed to, even after Tim baited him, and thus, he passes the test.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Probably one of the most beautiful, heartfelt love scenes since Meet Joe Black.
  • Survivor Guilt: Tim is the only survivor of the car crash. He attempts to ease his guilt by giving away practically every internal organ he can spare. And one he can't.
    • There Are No Therapists: He also never seems to seek out professional help to get over this unbearable, life-changing trauma.
  • Vegetarian Carnivore: Emily claims her Great Dane is one of these which is a case of Artistic License – Animal Care.


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