Directed by: David Fincher
Screenplay by: Andrew Kevin Walker
“Let he who is without sin try to survive.”
“Gluttony * Greed * Sloth * Envy * Wrath * Pride * Lust.”
“Seven deadly sins. Seven ways to die. Seven ways to kill.”
Following the perverse exploits of an evasive serial killer, Detectives Sommerset and Mills work to unravel the mysterious link between each of the murder victims, who, consequently, are intended to represent hyperbolic examples of the repercussions of committing one of the "Seven Deadly Sins" of biblical literature. The murderer, likening himself to the "Sword of God," commits one egregious murder after the next, evading veteran Sommerset and rookie Mills all the while. But as the two work to track down the perpetrator they find themselves unexpectedly enwrapped in his perversely deadly plan.
"Se7en", directed by David Fincher, is an exciting, disturbing, extremely well made cop thriller.
The basic story, a dark masterpiece of modern horror, involves a veteran cop, Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) who is about to retire. As he breaks-in his replacement, Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt), they both become involved into a grisly, serial killer investigation. This twisted serial killer chooses his victims from people who exemplify one of each of the seven deadly sins, as he sees himself as being the flaming sword of God, dispensing judgment on these sinners.
"Se7en" was written by Andrew Kevin Walker, a "sublime mix of madness and sanity." The screenplay shocks without being TOO gross, as the detectives play a riveting game of cat and mouse with the killer, John doe, and provides some real surprises, particularly towards the film's conclusion. Each tortured, maimed body found by the detectives fills the characters and the audience with a true, overbearing feeling of revulsion, and dread as well; for unless John Doe is caught, more bodies of people, who were horribly tortured to death will be found by our heroes.
Brad Pitt and and Morgan Freeman make a great screen team. The young hunk and the veteran character actor provide a great "union of opposites."
Kevin Spacey is quietly intense as the literate, brilliant killer, John Doe. "Wanting people to listen, you can't just tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to hit them with a sledgehammer, and then you'll notice you've got their strict attention." Spacey brings much to this portrayal of this criminally insane character, who acts out his delusions on his victims.
As Pitt's young wife, Tracy Miller, Gwyneth Paltrow is beautiful and sympathetic, giving a performance that complements Brad Pitt's character.
My favorite scene takes place in and around the killer's apartment building. It's an exciting, pulse pounding, very well edited sequence.
Director of Photography Darius Khondji presents a wealth of dark and disturbing screen images. The world depicted is somber and bleak, often nightmarish and hellish.
While Se7en is a modern horror thriller done extremely well, one must have the stomach for it, and may not be suitable for people sensitive to horror, gross scenes, and scripts that aren't uplifting.
If you enjoyed Se7en, you might enjoy Silence of the Lambs, Klute, Manhunter, Outbreak, Legends of the Fall, Sleepy Hollow, Bullitt, A River Runs Through It, and Unforgiven.