Seven Pounds Synopsis
Seven Pounds is a movie where Tim Thomas(main character) acts like an IRS agent named Ben Thomas(Tim’s brother) with the viewer never knowing he was acting like his brother till near the end of the movie. Within the movie Tim acting as Ben calls a blind person(Ezra) to try and yell and make fun of him to try and get him upset. During that time of the movie it just seemed like the wrong thing he was doing for no reason. Then he goes to a retirement home to talk to the manager and tries to see how he treats people when he surprise visits as Ben. The manager acts kind and tells him how his bone marrow treatment is going, but by the time Tim leaves he realizes the manager is treating people wrong so Tim acts like the IRS will come after the manager. Next Tim goes to see a random amount of people to say hello or watch what they are doing. Tim confronts a best friend of his about something they talked about before and said it would be done(it was never clarified what they talked about before). Tim finds a girl(Emily) he was looking for online at the IRS, unknown to the viewer on why he was searching for her earlier in the film, that has a heart disease. Tim becomes close to Emily but learns her heart disease is getting worse and now has to wait for a heart or will die before a heart become available if not soon enough. Then when Tim has his final date with Emily and goes to his car to get a gift for Emily. This is where Ben confronts Tim and makes Tim give back Ben’s IRS information. Then Tim sleeps with Emily his one and only time and on his way back to the Hotel there is a flashback of Tim killing his wife and six other people in a car accident. This makes sense to the viewer why Tim was following sick people around and how he used Ben’s credentials to try and talk to them about IRS stuff but really trying to help them out. Once Tim gets back to the hospital he calls 911 and sets up a suicide. Tim kills himself allowing seven people to be saved. The best friend is a lawyer and has Tim’s organs given to the people of Tim’s choosing, which he chose from the people he visited or saw throughout the move. The movie ends with the people finding out Tim was their donor, the story behind why he did the actions, and Emily meets Ezra and shows that Tim didn’t die for nothing because all the people he knew desered healthy lives and what they needed or wanted they got because of him.
Seven Pounds Philosophical meaning to Tim’s life
Within the movie it seems as if Tim is confirming that life is absurd like philosophers Camus and Nagel stated. Camus’s view is that human life is absurd because we need meaning, but the universe is silent and refuses to provide meaning. The movie proves that point because Tim cannot find meaning in his life. But Tim only does find meaning in dying to help seven people due to the fact the universe doesn’t tell him what to do after the fact he killed his wife and six other people. Also Nagel’s point on absurdity is that humans think of their lives very seriously while always knowing that there is no real meaning. Which also is proven by Tim because he take a long serious and rigorous approach to find the right people. There is no meaning behind all of it because he used to be successful and think his life was meaningful and now that he has killed people Tim feels his meaning is changed. So as a result Tim thinks dying will undermine any meaning of a life he used to have.
Also the movie has a lot of internal and external meaning that comes from a Philosopher Wielenberg. Wielenberg says that internal meaning is if a person is better off existing or not existing and doing something worthwhile. Wielenberg also says external meaning is if your life brings goodness into the world then its external. During the movie there is no debate on whether or not Tim has internal meaning because during the whole movie he acts that his internal meaning is to die and help others. But the external meaning in the movie is different in separate parts of the movies. He gives people happiness and hope when he approaches them as a IRS worker to help and give them smiles on their faces and makes them feel welcome. Then once he dies for those people his external meaning changes to Tim being able to help keep people alive or give them organs they want. Which the later was more important to Tim because he felt his death was more important than him living. With internal and external meaning it showed his death undermined his actual life because people became happier that he died because now they didn’t have to worry anymore about transplants or anything.
Another main point made was that Tim picked all these people out to receive his organs based on the fact the human race was going to continue and the people he would give life to would continue. This is a point made by Scheffler that our life will be linked to future generations. If Tim knew humans would not survive or the people receiving his organs would die he would not have given the organs because he was doing all of this to have people think of him as a good person who saved seven lives and wanted people to know about it. If everyone would die Tim would have acted differently and not undermined his life by death. But if he knew there would be a different outcome he would haveve tried another way to make meaning.
The last point is that Tim acted in a way for death to undermine life which also the reasoning behind it agrees with Aristotelian life. It agrees because him dying to donate organs is intrinsically good. Tim used rational capacities to screen people then to kill himself to keep his organs viable for the people he’d donate them to. Lastly his actions agree with Aristotle because the highest good is when our final purpose is happiness. For Tim killing himself was his final purpose and gave him happiness because he could be with his wife and he felt good about his decision to help with seven people.
Within the scene Tim is trying to find meaning in his life. It shows he is trying to see if Ezra is the right candidate for his eyes. Tim does that by trying to aggravate Ezra any way possible to get Ezra upset and as a result to get Ezra to challenge back but instead nothing happens and Ezra hangs up. Tim cries at the end because he knew what he did was wrong but they also were tears of joy because as a result he found meaning in his death. Tim did this whole phone call because he knew now that his eyes would be going to the most genuine person and not a random person. Now it gave Tim meaning to his life that he has a purpose and meaning to give his eyes to Ezra instead of not donating them at all.