Seven Pounds of Box Jellyfish

I just watched the movie Seven pounds today.
It was a heartwarming and beautiful movie. At times confusing – but if you can look past that and enjoy the movie for what it is, a search for redemption, you will probably like it.

Two years ago, Tim Thomas (Will Smith), sending a text message while driving, caused a car crash in which seven people died: six strangers and his fiancee, Sarah Jenson (Robinne Lee).

This haunts Tim and in a bid for redemption, Tim sets out to save the lives of seven good people. A year after the crash, having quit his job as an aeronautical engineer, Tim donates a lung lobe to his brother, Ben, an IRS employee. Six months later he donates part of his liver to a child services worker named Holly. After that, he begins searching for more candidates to receive donations. He finds George, a junior hockey coach, and donates a kidney to him, and donates bone marrow to a young boy named Nicholas.

Two weeks before he has decided to die, he contacts Holly and asks if she knows anyone who deserves help. She suggests Connie Tepos, who lives with an abusive boyfriend. Tim moves out of his house and into a local motel, taking with him his pet box jellyfish. One night, after being beaten, Connie contacts Tim and he gives her the keys and deed to his beach house. She takes her two children and moves in to their new home.

Having stolen his brother’s credentials, and making himself known by his brother’s name Ben, he checks out candidates for his two final donations. The first is Ezra Turner (Woody Harrelson), a blind meat salesman who plays the piano. Tim calls Ezra Turner and harasses him at work to check if he is quick to anger. Ezra remains calm and Tim decides he is worthy.

He then contacts Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson), a self-employed greeting card printer who has a heart condition and a rare blood type. He spends time with her, weeding her garden and fixing her rare Heidelberg Windmill press. He begins to fall in love with her and decides that as her condition has worsened he needs to make his donation.

Tim’s brother Ben tracks him down at Emily’s house, demanding that Tim return Ben’s IRS credentials. After an interlude with Emily, Tim leaves her sleeping and returns to the motel.

First he fills the bathtub with ice water to preserve his vital organs, then he calls 911 to report hisnsuicide, climbs in, and commits suicide by pulling his box jellyfish into the water with him. You see him being brought in to ER where his friend Dan acts as executor to ensure that his organs are donated to Emily and Ezra. Ezra Turner receives his corneas and Emily receives his heart.

Later, Emily meets Ezra at his concert at a park, and they begin to talk.

Watch Trailer on Youtube:

Get the DVD here.

Sooo, while the storyline is beautiful and Tims search for redemption is admirable, the story still holds a great error:

Tim chooses to kill himself by the sting of his Box Jellyfish so that he can donate his organs to other people.

However, facts about Box jellyfish (class Cubozoa) tells us that they are cnidarian invertebrates distinguished by their cube-shaped medusae.

From Nat Geo Wild we can learn that their venom is considered to be among the most deadly in the world, containing toxins that attack the heart, nervous system, and skin cells. It is so overpoweringly painful, human victims have been known to go into shock and drown or die of heart failure before even reaching shore. Survivors can experience considerable pain for weeks and often have significant scarring where the tentacles made contact.

From Thinkquest  we can learn about symptoms and how to first aid:
The venom of box jellyfish has cardiotoxic, neurotoxic and highly dermatonecrotic components. When injected, it is rapidly absorbed into the circulation. The pain is excruciating; the tentacles become sticky and adhere tightly to the skin. Any attempt at removal of the tentacles while they are still active may worsen the sting and lead to great injuries. Severe stings result in necrosis of the affected skin area.

All of this indicates only one thing….
Any person hit by a Box Jellyfish will be unfit as an organ donor.
The neurotoxic poison that will affect their nerve system and paralyze you.
The cardiotoxins will affect your heart and pump the venom into the rest of the body and the other vital organs as well.

The idea behind – suicide, helping others for redemption.. All good, but they should have checked out further facts about the box jellyfish before they made this movie and possibly have chosen a different way for Tim to die.

Intersting facts about Jellyfish:
– Jellyfish can live in captivity as long as the tank they are in is round. Round tanks keep the jellyfish from getting trapped in the edges (from which they can’t escape without a water current).
– Ben has the jellyfish in a standard tank for at least a week. Jellyfish die in captivity unless they are in continuously circulating water.
– While being highly venomous, box jellyfish stings are treatable, especially in this case when Ben called 911 ahead of time and slowed his metabolism by lying in ice.

Other interesting sites about Box Jellyfish:


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