Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Runtime: 127 Minutes
David Fincher’s “Seven” is clever, intelligent and one big thrill ride. Taking us in to the seven deadly sins, the story is structures like a Fincher movie- slick, different and unique. Aside the great direction we have an excellent cast including Brad Pitt and veteran Morgan Freeman. Thank Andrew Kevin Walker for the excellent script, and the collaboration of Walker and Fincher created an excellent result. “Seven” in my opinion, is among Fincher’s best films because of how sharp, smart and terrifically haunting it is.
Det. William Somerset (Morgan Freeman), a homicide specialist just one week from a well-deserved retirement. Every minute of his 32 years on the job is evident in Somerset's worn, exhausted face, and his soul aches with the pain that can only come from having seen and felt far too much. Somerset is teamed up with David Milss (Brad Pitt) to find a diabolical serial killer is staging grisly murders, choosing victims representing the seven deadly sins. First, an obese man is forced to eat until his stomach ruptures to represent gluttony, then a wealthy defence lawyer is made to cut off a pound of his own flesh as penance for greed. Somerset initially refuses to take the case, realizing that there will be five more murders, ghastly sermons about lust, sloth, pride, wrath, and envy presented by a maniac to a sinful world. Something within him cannot let the case go, forcing the weary detective to team with Mills and see the case to its almost unspeakably horrible conclusion.
The most powerful thing “Seven” has is its ironic and brutal truth. Everywhere you look, people are sinning without care, as our homicidal killer says. It is very true what he says about sins and it adds to the psychotic mentality to the character, as well as giving you the creeps. Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Lust, Envy, Wrath and pride- surely in your life there will be a point that you will be guilty of one of these. This little ideology gives the film great resonance and is why it is memorable even as I write this review.
The acting collaboration was perfect here. Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt were remarkable and did such good performances they reflected on one another. Not only this, but the set-up contrast is great. Similar to “Lethal Weapon”, we have a young cop paired with a soon-to-retire cop”. We cannot forget about homicidal killer John Doe, played by Kevin Spacey like a devil. The great thing about all these characters is all the stuff that is going on. Mills has moved to the big city to take on big cases meanwhile his wife endures pregnancy problems in the middle of the story. Behind this, we have Somerset who is soon to retire who is obviously not prepared to leave just yet.
“Seven” is also filled with gloomy and dark cinematography that creates a wonderful atmosphere. First, you have the glum photography from Darius Khondji that features the images of the victims. Then there are the spectacular shadowy special effects by makeup artist Rob Bottin, best known for more fantasy-oriented work in films like “The Howling” (1981). Third, but not least is all those wonderful sets and locations that give the film an authentic touch. Yes Khondji, I cared about all that stuff. One more thing we cannot forget is the glum, depressing look that has been given to
Like “Silence of the Lambs”, it is more thriller than suspense, and these two films are similar in terms of content. ‘Lambs’ has Hannibal Lector and “Seven” has John Doe. Although ‘Lambs’ is more psycho-thriller they have similar fields.
Once you get to those final minutes of the film, you are going to be on one get thrill ride that has you clenching your chair. The final moments are some of the best minutes, you could ask for from a thriller and as much as I would love to describe it, I will not for the good of not spoiling everything. However, you will not be disappointed.