In our language (Ukraine) - it translated as 7 lives, pound as I know is a unit of weight or monetary unit, how is it related? Does it have anything similar to life? Or it is just a translation of our country?

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    AFAIK the "7 pounds" in the movie referred to the combined weight of the donated organs. Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 15:25
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    The film affects seven lives, so the translation is fine. Not every perfect translation makes a good title. Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 15:53
  • It is probably not pure serendipity that there are 7 pounds, and 7 lives. However, it has been noted elsewhere that the actual weight of the organs donated in the movie do not really sum up to seven pounds... Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 17:47
  • Note that there is the idiom "pound of flesh". There may be a metaphorical linkage to this.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 23:35

1 Answer 1


This is apparently alluding to Shakespeares "Merchant of Venice", were a debtor owes a pound of flesh - and since the protagonist in the movie is "paying back" seven lives, it's seven pounds.

According to Wikipedia, Will Smith confirmed the connection:

Will Smith is reported to have confirmed that the title refers to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, in which a debtor must pay a pound of flesh

While, being a Shakespeare fan, that was basically the first thing I thought of, I don't think it makes a lot of sense, since nothing in the circumstances of the debt in the play is even remotely parallel to what happens in the movie. But if the main actor/producer confirms it, then that's probably it.

  • Many of the idioms that derive from Shakespeare no longer refer directly to the original plots.
    – Barmar
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 18:14

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