Seven Pounds

The media portrays death and dying in various ways. A prime example is news outlets. There have been a disturbing amount of shootings in this country and every time one happens and a news outlet covers the story the focus is primarily on the shooter. News outlets love to sensationalize the story of the killer. They almost make it sound like some new television drama character. News outlets love to sensationalize the story of the killer. When the initial news of the tragedy breaks they spend so much time talking about the past of the killer and what could of led them to such a heinous act, but the fate of the numerous murdered individuals are left as an after thought. Only hours or sometimes days later during a night time vigil or memorial does a news outlet report on those that were murdered. I don’t think the news influences our understanding of death per say because that they are very cliché and superficial in the analysis and understanding of death. There is no actual going beneath the surface to take a deeper look on the death of an individual. Instead the focus on emphasizing how said the family members and mourners are and how much support they need. Although that is a very important aspect that is not the only part of dealing with death and dying.  Television shows and movies are at more liberty to try and attempt to understand death. Countless movies show us how characters deal with the loss of those close to them dying.

The movie Seven Pounds is the epitome of facing death.  The premise of the movie is that Will Smith’s wife died when they were driving in the car and Will feels that it was completely his fault and wants to repay his debt with his life. Will Smith prepares the entire movie planning his death and what will happen to the parts of his body. He spends the whole movie determined to die but at the same time to help as many people as he can, and by the end of the movie he has helped 7 good people by giving some of them a body part that they need to live. The guilt he has from his life allows him to face a painful death with courage.

7 thoughts on “Seven Pounds

  1. I really like your example on how the media (wrongfully) portrays death. I’ve often wondered the same thing; how is it that the killers are glorified to the point of being nationally known, yet the victims are next to unknown and easily forgotten. As you accurately stated, it seems like the news prefers to highlight the killer’s history and life as a television drama. As for your movie choice, Seven Pounds, it really demonstrates how profound of an effect that experiencing or accidently being involved in another’s death can have on someone. The movie does an exceptionally great job at allowing the viewer to shadow Will Smith’s character and experience his finals days dealing with preparation and death.

  2. I also agree with you in how the media does not portray death well. I feel that when the media portrays death that they only focus on the killer and a little bit about how those who lost loved ones need support. The media sensationalizes the event as tragic yet leaves the victims’ feelings out of the picture. Those who have not lost loved ones in this manner have no idea of how this would make them feel and so when support is being ask of, we are less likely to support them because of that disconnection. In the end, all we see are names of victims and their families and they are shortly forgotten because the news focuses primarily on the life of the criminal. As for your movie choice, like in real life, you can clearly see how a death can affect one’s mindset and actions in a drastic way or in any way.

  3. I completely agree with what you said about the media amping up the killer in the news. I have always felt that by doing this they inspire other people to kill in hopes to be made famous around the nation for their terrible deeds. There are a lot of sick minded people who will do anything for attention and a chance to be in the spot light because they never got attention as a child. It is for this very reason that in sports they no longer show “streakers “on TV. I would much rather learn about the victims and their families. Unfortunately, in the United States we especially do not like to feel sad and talk about hard things like death. This is why the news doesn’t show the crying families and explain how a good innocent person has been ripped from the earth before his or her time. This just goes to prove that America is a “death denying culture”. Instead we join together as a nation to try and prevent a thing like this to happen again when in fact it is this very attention to killers that is bringing more and more of them out. Desensitization to violence is a rising issue and will only get worse in the future.

  4. I completely agree with your analysis of not only the movie itself, but the news always portraying the murderer as the “star,” per say, of a terrible crime. This not only gives us the wrong idea of death, but makes the victims of the crimes seem as though they are merely afterthoughts. This movie in specific is my favorite ever—not only did he get his wife killed, but six others as well. In the end, he donates seven parts of his body to well-deserving people. This movie is also a perfect depiction of end of life decisions in action as well.

  5. This was a well thought out post and a interesting choice, I’ll definitely try to pick up the movie and see what i can learn about it. By showing how the actor grieves and plans the movie paints a very realistic portrayl of how death is handled. I also agree that there should be more focus on helping others through the grieving process instead of just focusing on the killers.

  6. I think that your completely right. A lot of the times the media is so busy trying to portray the assailant in a certain light, that they only spend a small portion of their programs talking about the victims and their families. So yes I agree that the news, wrongfully portrays death. Also, seven pounds is one of my favorite movies! I feel like you have to completely know who you are, really understand the finallidy of death, and just be an all around strong person to be able to consciously be able to say, “Today, I am going to sacrifice my life, on my own, so that seven other people will be able to stay with their families and continue their life”. I commend that and its a realy beautiful thing.

  7. I feel this movie does a very good job at showing how one can face death in different ways. You have those that make the choice to end their lives immediately and then others that meticulously plan it such as Will Smith in this movie. It also tries to show the public the ‘good’ of his death by describing the positives of his slow death by giving away multiple body parts.
    Now, one thing I disagree with mostly is when you said that the media sensationalizes mass shootings. I remember when watching the news break of the Aurora, CO theater shooting how the media handled it. CNN did a very good job in my opinion in keeping the history and name of the shooter to an absolute minimum and capitalized on describing the lives of the many victims.

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