Monday, April 27, 2009

A movie review, of sorts.

Last week Andrew and I watched Seven Pounds. Have you seen it? When we first saw the preview, months ago, we tried to figure out why the title was what it was. He loses seven pounds? His girlfriend dies because she only weighs seven pounds? He robs a bank and only gets away with seven pounds of gold? We were uncertain.

So it was with anticipation we turned the movie on last week, still not knowing the reason behind the name. Now I have seen the movie, and I have a pretty good guess. I don't think this will ruin the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it, but I think the human heart weighs seven pounds. Is that right? The movie was pretty good. Not one I would buy, and probably not one I would watch again. But one part has kept me thinking long after the movie ended.

There is a scene at the beginning of the movie where Will Smith is on the phone with a meat salesman. It turns out the man is blind, and Will Smith's character is unbelievably cruel to this man on the phone. After he hangs up, he cries and lists several names, and at that point I looked at Andrew and said, "I don't get it." At the end of the movie, without giving too much away, Will's character (I can't remember his name) wanted to give a gift to the blind man and he was testing him on the phone to make sure he was really a good person. That he wouldn't spout off in anger after being treated so horribly.

And that's what got me to thinking. If someone had treated me in the way that blind man was treated, I most certainly would have lost my temper and yelled right back at him. The blind man remained calm and polite in spite of the insults being hurled at him. And after over a week of reflection, I have come to the conclusion that, according to Will Smith's character's standards, I am not a good person. I am far to quick to jump to the defensive. I am rarely understanding of the reasons behind people's actions and am quite self-centered in my view of the world.

Although I didn't LOVE the movie, I am struck with the lesson it taught me. Being a good person doesn't just mean going to church and reading my scriptures and fulfilling my calling and cleaning my house and all the other long list of things I try so diligently to do. It also means being slow to anger with those who treat me offensively. It means being more sympathetic of others' feelings. That is definitely not my strong point. It means treating others as Christ would treat them, even if I don't feel the same compassion toward them that He does.

I know that was probably NOT the main point of the movie. But it's what I took away from it. So I guess I'm recommending it to you, in a way. It made me think about my own way of being. And I guess that's what good movies do.


AnnEE said...

The human heart definitely doesn't weigh 7 lbs, it's the total weight of the organs combined, if you get my drift. :)

Taylor, Valerie and Isaac Housley said...

I walked away with the same thought! And like the boy in the hospital cafeteria, where "Ben" or Will, was watching made me think about how I act when I don't know people are watching...does that make sense? Anyway, I feel the same way you did about it...I didn't LOVE it but I walked away reflecting on my own life to be just put it into words better!

Lacking Productivity said...

You are so much better than me...I thought, "was he really that nice, or was it just because he was at work and didn't want to lose his job."

You got more out of it than me.

Lacking Productivity said...

Oh and the title is an allusion to The Merchant of Venice. One pays "seven pounds of flesh" as penance for wrongs. (The play is a favorite of mine.) Like cutting off your hand for stealing...that is your seven pounds of flesh to pay for your sins.

Scotty and Meg said...

We saw the movie and have been wondering about the title too. The comment by Lacking Productivity, cleared it up for me. I thought the movie was a bit disturbing but it does have me thinking about it even though i watched it weeks ago.