Home > Reviews > SEVEN POUNDS – Angelo Milli

SEVEN POUNDS – Angelo Milli

December 19, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

An affecting drama which reunited actor Will Smith with his Pursuit of Happiness director Gabriele Muccino, Seven Pounds tells the story of IRS agent Ben Thomas who, for reasons which initially are unclear, embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by changing the lives of seven strangers, including a greeting card maker with a heart condition played by Rosario Dawson, and a blind meat salesman played by Woody Harrelson.

The score for Seven Pounds is by 33-year-old Venezuelan composer Angelo Milli, whose only previous international exposure came in 2006 with the Peruvian drama La Mujer De Mi Hermano. Milli’s music for Seven Pounds is performed by a fairly traditional orchestral complement, with emphasis on piano and strings, but has a definite contemporary feel, especially in the way he incorporates subtle synth drones and processed electronic tonalities into the fabric of the score – supportive and clearly defined, but not overwhelming. However, far from being uplifting, Milli’s score is definitely on the downbeat, reflective side, matching the overarching feeling of the redemptive journey Smith’s character makes.

There are some lovely individual moments of note – the clarinet performance in “Seven Names” that gradually unfolds into a beautiful, dark string piece, the intimate piano motif in “Inez”, the gorgeous cello lines in “I Thought I Was Strong”, and the conventionally sweeping “Love Theme” for example. At times, his string and piano phrasing and his tendency to write prominent woodwind counterpoint reminds me of Thomas Newman, which can only be a good thing. Milli bring a soaring choral element to the table in certain key cues, using it to underline important moments of emotional resonance in the sensational, cathartic “Requiem” and the haunting, angelic “Surgery” (although the former does contain an unexpected inclusion of the James Horner’s dreaded ‘four note motif’).

There’s even a little bit of dissonance, in the appropriately uncomfortable “A Good Man”, which adds some depth and a welcome change in direction to the score, however brief it may be. Overall, Seven Pounds is a very confident and assured mainstream debut for Milli, and I look forward with anticipation to see how his career develops from here.

Rating: ****

Track Listing:

  • Seven Days Seven Seconds (2:29)
  • Seven Names (3:54)
  • Sarah (2:09)
  • Assisted Living (0:53)
  • Inez (2:11)
  • I Thought I Was Strong (2:18)
  • Leaving Home (2:23)
  • I Am Nowhere (1:57)
  • A Good Man (2:38)
  • New Life (1:44)
  • Shower Flashback (3:25)
  • The Field (3:21)
  • Love Theme (2:11)
  • Requiem (9:51)
  • Surgery (2:09)
  • Tim’s Eyes (2:03)
  • Seven Pounds (1:40)

Running Time: 47 minutes 16 seconds

Varèse Sarabande VSD-6941 (2008)

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