I was easing into my day, gearing up for a lot of writing I need to get done, when I thought, well, I’ll get that netflix movie out of the way while I’m having brunch, so I can send it back today.
That movie was Seven Pounds, featuring Will Smith and Rosario Dawson. Wow. A surprisingly disturbing film about guilt and redemption, selfless giving and unexpected love. As we discover who the protagonist really is and what drives him, the foreshadowed conclusion begins to make perfect sense. Also intriguing is the insight offered by the screenwriter, Grant Nieporte, on the supplemental dvd material: years ago he met a man who carried a profound sadness, “the saddest person he’d ever met”. He learned afterwards that the man was responsible for a national tragedy that had killed people, and obviously carried the weight of guilt and remorse even a decade later. That notion inspired this movie.
The end result was something thought-provoking in a way that continues to haunt, and by the end it moved me to tears. I highly recommend it it, especially if you want a provocative psychological exploration, or a love story embedded in dark trappings.
I seem to be stumbling into movie media lately that, while entertaining, is also disturbing and provocative on deeper levels. I already posted here about my reaction to Donnie Darko. I also recently saw The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. Barry Pepper, who stars opposite Tommy Lee Jones in that movie, also has a role in Seven Pounds. He reminds me of Matthew McConaughey – they could be brothers - but hasn’t been on my radar before. Three Burials is sometimes falsely billed as a “dark comedy”. Don’t watch it for that reason (there’s very little comedic in it), but it is another unexpectedly deep movie about honor, justice, guilt and redemption.
So there is a batch of brain- and emotion-stretching titles worth checking out, if you’re into that kind of thing. Not exactly “uplifting” watching, any of them, but definitely serious story-telling at work.
And now, somehow, I must find my way back into the writing zone…