Se7en - Twisted Brilliance

                              Originality in movies is a rarity, with many central themes having been plundered to the point of audience exhaustion. What the viewer can occasionally hope for is a fresh new slant or re-interpretation. "Se7en" is such an example of classic horror thrills, up-ended and twisted into a bewildering web of tension.  Seven isn't transparent or moronic, and it doesn't insult the average viewer's intelligence. David Fincher's second feature, after Alien³, cuts against most expectations for this sort of genre piece, with a striking performance from Morgan Freeman.

             The title refers to the Seven Deadly Sins: Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Envy, Wrath, Pride, and Lust. The film successfully points out that, in today's society, these sins are looked upon as normal--what were once considered deadly are now considered everyday. That is, until a serial killer decides to wake people up by killing sinners in ways that symbolize their respective transgressions. The victims in Seven range from a high-price defense lawyer to a prostitute to a vain fashion model, showing how sin infiltrates every level of society. 
                       The two conflicting heroes of Seven are Detective William Sommerset (Morgan Freeman) and his eager new partner, Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt). Sommerset is a hardened, experienced cop who is less than a week away from his much-desired retirement. His eyes are always dark and heavy, and we get the feeling that he was seen too much evil in the world. He was once an excited idealist like Mills, but years of probing the underbelly of society have worn him down. Although the new cop/old cop routine is well-worn, it is an intricate necessity in Seven because it is essential to the shocking finale. I won't even hint at what it is or the identity of the serial killer.

          Freeman's is a supremely nuanced, moving performance as the seasoned, bruised and solitary Somerset. This is screen acting at its best. Pitt turns in a determined, energetic, creditable job as the eager young detective. Gwyneth Paltrow gives as much human dimension as possible to her few scenes as Pitt's sensitive, uncertain wife.The actor, who plays the serial killer , is not listed in on the opening credits for the purpose of surprise; but i will say his performance is appropriately creepy and disturbing. Cinematographer Darius Khondji (City of Lost Children) and production designer Arthur Max have sculpted a dark, murky world, parts of which are illuminated only by flashlight. Everything is dark and grungy, and even in open spaces there is an uncomfortable, claustrophobic feel. 

                                  Director David Fincher, since Se7en  has solidified his standing as one of Hollywood's most creative and unorthodox talents with The Game (1997) and Fight Club (1999), Zodiac (2007), The Social Network (2010), and the recent The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011), but at the time, nothing could have prepared us for the sheer visual intensity of Seven. His techniques in Se7en are confidently different. Rather than lingering gore shots, we get a diffused layering of the visual and verbal , to  nauseating effect.

                               Although Se7en seems excruciatingly violent, there is little physical violence depicted on-screen. We never actually see the killer doing the deed-- only the results rendered in harsh detail by make-up and special effects. In a film like this , the viewer is placed alongside the police officer in the role of a outsider, following the killer's trail. You have the knowledge, that another murder is bound to happen , but you are powerless to stop it. The pace is fast and the shocks build beautifully.  The only problem with Se7en is Brad Pitt's Mills is not a likable character. He is cocky and arrogant with an inflated opinion of himself. 

                      Se7en is a worthwhile and a very watchable film , but don't look for a lot of deep social commentary. Lean back , peer into the darkness and watch this gut-wrenching film as it is structurally brilliant. 

Trailer : 



Anonymous said...

will watch it soon

Dee........ said...

One of the best moviee...
best thriller and Morgan freeman will be simply superb

Jen..The Butterfly Effect said...

Great review! Will watch this! I'm a huge fan of Brad Pitt! :)

Akshy said...

Superb murder movie man:).