Se7en (1995)

“The world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part.”

#3 of David Fincher Series

As one of the director’s most recognized and appraised movies, Se7en is pretty much where Fincher started from. His second huge movie, after he did Alien 3, it’s easy to see how he has become the big name in directing that he is today. Se7en is probably one of the most chilling serial killer movies to ever be made, without showing us murder actually taking place in one single scene. Just like the killer in the movie it seeks to disturb you, and boy, does it.

Plot: Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt) and his wife, Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow), have moved to an unnamed but constantly rainy city as David has recently transferred there for work. He teams up with veteran Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman), who is about ready to retire, for a case involving several strange killings. Soon they put together that this is the work of a serial killer who chooses his victims using the seven deadly sins, and the two detectives must learn to put their different methods of crime-solving together in order to find out who this killer is.

Really the person responsible for creating such a great film is the writer, Andrew Kevin Walker. You kind of have to wonder how he came up with such messed up material! But it’s truly brilliant. We don’t see any killings actually take place, just the murder scene after it’s happened. Yet, just the thought of how these murders went is disturbing enough, if not more than seeing it take place. Also, the fact that the killer actually killed his victims with the sin that he dubbed them to possess is both very creative and also very disturbing. It’s Walker’s script that really is the highlight of the film, although Fincher’s directing touch and some great performances by Pitt and Freeman truly elevate the movie even more.

Brad Pitt has constantly proven time after time that he is truly one of Hollywood’s greatest actors right now His performance in this movie truly showed that, especially in the last scene. He has taken up some pretty risky roles but they all seem to pay off for him, including this one. Freeman of course is amazing as usual. He always seems to play the older and wiser character so he truly fits the role of the veteran detective. These two together played off each other really well, considering their characters are so different.

Paltrow is also very good but her screen time is limited. Her presence in the movie is very important though, if you know the ending, and she definitely delivers. Kevin Spacey, though. As a sadistic serial killer, he truly embodies his character and brings so many dimensions to him. Of course he is off-his-rocker crazy, but at the same time, you kind of understand his desire to send the world his message. The message that the world is not a good place. That it’s full of people who constantly “sin” and most of the time we tolerate this sin on a daily basis, not thinking twice about it.

This movie was truly brought to life by Fincher, though. His vision for how he wanted this movie to turn out is precise in how it was supposed to be. He provides the perfect feeling to it, in a city that is constantly raining, with a certain dark and rough quality to the look of everything. It’s truly a dark film that is meant to stay ingrained in your mind forever. Many times the studio, and even Walker, suggested alternate endings for the movie and Fincher flat out refused. Both Pitt and Fincher actually threatened to not make the movie if the ending was changed and this was a good choice. As truly disturbing the twist ending is, it had to be kept in. Otherwise the film would not have the same effect.

Conclusion: Se7en definitely remains as one of Fincher’s masterpieces. This is no surprise as I have not seen any movie as both thrilling and disturbing as this one, at least, not that I can remember. I actually saw this movie years ago, but don’t remember feeling invested in the movie while watching it so I gave it another go in order to get the full effect. I’m glad I did as this movie definitely deserved it. It had to be a risky move making this film, not knowing how audiences would react to something so dark, but I’m sure glad they took the risk as this is some great film making that will not be forgotten.

Rating: A

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One thought on “Se7en (1995)

  1. I hate this movie. It was so predictable and Brad Pitt’s performance was so over-the-top; and Kevin Spacey sounded more feminine than menacing. I have always wondered why so many love this movie so much. I thought it was boring and the “shocking” conclusion was laughable b/c of it’s predictability. It just felt like everyone involved was trying way too hard.

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