Review Written by: Jack Moulton
What the MPAA Rating should be: R (for language and violence)
Directed by: David Fincher
Written by: Andrew Kevin Walker
Produced by: Phyllis Carlyle and Arnold Kopelson
Starring: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, Kevin Spacey, Daniel Zacapa, John Cassini
Studio: New Line Cinema
In 1995 David Fincher released a perfectly constructed modern masterpiece; Se7en
. One of the most exhilarating experiences of all-time and a classic to come.
A cop; Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt) has just moved into the city with his wife, Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow) in hope of finally settling down. Mills will take over the job of Detective Lt. William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) an old cop who has seven days until his retirement begins. Both are dedicated to the badge. They are put together on the case of an obesity murder, in which a man has been forced to 'eat till he bursts'. This then leads to another murder scene in which a lawyer has bled to death, although the murderer didn't actually use the knife; he made the lawyer do it. This is just the beginning of a mass murder masterpiece crafted by the insane John Doe, brilliantly played by Kevin Spacey.
Whatever you do while watching it, do not see it as hollow. Se7en
is far from it. Many scenes study civilisation; present civilisation. And its evil. Our society isn't a pleasant one. The film concentrates mainly on the cop's search; when it comes to the mystery part in finding the killer, we discover the policemen's differences in methods and how the most obvious one does not actually work. Of course, its Somerset, the one with the most experience who has the best way. He tries to find out why. Why some man is killing these people using a specific punishment. While Mills tries, unsuccessfully, to find out how; by studying the crime scene for clues. He ends up bored. With the help of the library, Somerset gets closer to the murderer. It may seem as though the role of Tracey is a pointless part, but she is more important than anything. She is the one who brings the men to being more personal with each other. Notice how in the dinner scene she is the one to introduce them by name. All making the climax tense and difficult.
Mills is the kind of guy to pull his gun out before his torch. He has an arrogant sense of things though is 'by the book' and works. Somerset has never even fired his weapon. He sees the evil round him. And he wants to leave it. Though he is a cop so he has the permission to do something about it. But the problem is, he isn't doing anything about it. John Doe is. The reason why society is evil is because we are allowed to sin. There is now nothing stopping us. It has become a common factor of life. And there should be. That is why John Doe thinks his behaviour is okay. But the problem is he is being stopped instead of the crime out there. This is the harsh reality we live in.
There are seven deadly sins. Gluttony. Greed. Sloth. Pride. Lust. Envy. Wrath. And seven ways to die.
Kevin Spacey is amazing as John Doe, portraying insanity perfectly. One of the greatest supporting performances of all-time already. And he's only in it for half an hour. Brad Pitt delivers a kind of forced performance which adds to the Hollywood effect of the film though I couldn't imagine anyone else for the part. Morgan Freeman played his role with the greatest concentration. Throughout he needed a look of woe on his face. And he did just that.
The writing is extraordinary. The genius, Andrew Kevin Walker took an interesting subject and created an instant classic. But most credit has to go to Fincher. He took aspects you wouldn't even think of looking at and filmed it. Together they project a deep film on our screens that no-one should miss. In one scene near the end, he makes it so when a word is spoken we cut to a character as that gives us clues to their fate. A feast for the brain. One of the most imaginative scripts of the 90's. Fincher also knows exactly how to shoot the film. Whether it be steady-cam for the slow and easy parts or the hand-held camera for the adrenaline pumping scenes.
The cinematography is what makes this an excellent movie. Everything is dark. The world out there is rough, raw, grim and gritty. It does just that. The effect it makes is astounding and truly works. The sinister music that is added keeps the heart pounding throughout and keeps the audience uncomfortable, in a good way. As that's what the film tries to achieve. The opening credits are upon the greatest segment of film I have ever seen. The jumpiness makes you feel uneasy yet intrigued to keep watching. Every scene, due to the effort put in it, is masterful and is what makes the film a joy to watch and observe.
Se7en reveals the best glimpse we have seen of the disturbing underworld. One of my favourites and always will be.
Brad Pitt appears in his first David Fincher collaboration Se7en.