I watched this movie probably a year ago before I started this blog and I thought of it again this morning while watching “Today” on NBC so I thought I would write a post about it. This morning, “Today” featured the story of a young, 13-year old girl who died in a skiing accident this winter. Her family donated her organs and through efforts made on both sides, they were able to meet the woman who received her heart.
I was watching while I was eating my Cocoa Pebbles (don’t judge, they are gluten-free and on occasion I crave children’s cereals) and felt my chin start to quiver when the woman who received the donor shared how her heart literally leapt when the mother of the deceased held her hand. What an amazing bond to share and what peace to have after losing a child.
Anyway, that made me think of the film “Seven Pounds” and the feelings I had after watching it. If you have not seen it, I would not really recommend it for entertainment purposes. It is definitely heart wrenching but at the end, I was not sure if I thought he was selfishly trying to clear his guilt or if it was a martyr-like sacrifice. That being said, I may give away some of the plot here, so do not read any further if you want to see it.
Basically, Will Smith’s character (Tim Thomas) is responsible for the deaths of seven people (including his fiance) when he is texting while driving and causes a terrible accident. In order to offer some sort of sacrifice or to pay his debts, he plans to donate seven of his organs to save the lives of seven other people. Ultimately, this must lead to him taking his own life to finally donate his heart– which he does in a very unique way such that his body will be preserved until the paramedics arrive.
He gets to know all the people he donates his organs to determine if they are “worthy” enough to receive his gift. However, there is one glitch. He falls in love with the woman he planned to save with his heart. He knows she is dying without it and ultimately dies so that she might live–how Shakespearean of him, right?
I guess what really bothered me about this movie is the fact that he seemed to really only be wanting to cleanse himself of the guilt he had from that accident. He could have benefited the lives of thousands of people through other means and still planned to donate his organs upon his death by natural causes. He could have helped children by tutoring them and giving them the chance of a good education. He could have donated funds to nonprofits and relief agencies to help hundreds of people. The key is that he could have lived the rest of his life dedicated to helping people and made a much greater impact on more lives than giving “seven pounds of flesh.”
But, at the end of the day… it was just a movie and if was supposed to make you think, I do believe it did its job. If you have seen it, what do you think? Do you think what he did was noble or do you think it was self-serving to some degree?
Ironically, I always watch Fresh Prince of Bel Air with Will Smith when I come home for lunch. He has come a long way since those days!