Will Smith plays Ben Thomas, an IRS agent in this very emotional drama.
It starts out with a disturbing scene where Ben is calling 911 asking for an ambulance…..and reporting a suicide. When asked who the victim is, he says he is. Right away, I think the movie is going to be narrated from the other side, or Ben survives this attempt, leading him on a life changing journey seeking redemption. There are out of sequence flashbacks intertwined with Ben’s determination to forever change the lives of seven complete strangers for the better.
The movie jumps into several different scenarios without any smooth transitions, and I start to wonder if I missed something. It comes together in fragments and each scene and interaction between Ben and one of his chosen recipients is riveting and dramatic. But then each episode is left incomplete and mysterious with no closure…until the ending.
Ben inadvertently falls in love with Emily, played by Rosario Dawson along the way, even though he struggles to resist.
Woody Harrelson does a good job playing a blind, kind hearted telemarketer who patiently listens as Ben ridicules him unmercifully over the phone. Ben does this as a test to see just how kind he is....making him worthy of his ultimate gift.
I don’t want to give any more of the story line away. I hadn’t seen any trailer of previews prior to seeing the movie, and I’m glad….now! I really thing the timing is right for a movie like this—audiences who need a little luck in their lives could view Ben as one of Smith’s most heroic screen characters yet.
Even though I think this movie is a stretch as to what anyone could realistically do, I give it seven pounds of heart.
......and the sequel is on the horizon