Se7en Cover The 'Seven Deadly Sins Of Man' is a concept that is rather difficult to avoid at times. Wrath. Greed. Sloth. Pride. Lust. Envy. And Gluttony. All of these aspects populate everyday life - every - single - day. Maybe someone should do something about it, huh? Someone like Director: David Fincher; and Actors: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kevin Spacey. Especially in 1995, and for 128 minutes.


Poor police Detective, William Somerset (Morgan Freeman). All he wants to do is pack up his bags and retire. But what does he get instead? Thrust onto a new murder case with his replacement, David Mills (Brad Pitt), after a very awkward false start.

You see, Somerset’s investigation into a murder of an overweight-man, and Mill’s investigation into the death of a lawyer, have a common link between the two. For example, at the scene of the overweight man’s death, the word ‘Gluttony’ has been painted upon the wall. Likewise for the lawyer too, but rather with the word ‘Greed’. However, it is only until Mill’s pretty wife, Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow), brings these two opposing Detectives together, that they can then finally sit down more amicably and compare notes on their respective crimes.

And do you know what? It's a good job that she does too. Because this leads Somerset and Mills to the scene of a third murder – ‘Sloth’ – discovering that the third victim’s fingerprints were in the lawyer’s office, and subsequently find the third victim malnourished and brain damaged tied up within his own apartment.

So how can they resolve this murder mystery, huh? Tracy can't help them anymore, she has a very perplexing paternal problem of her own to deal with at the moment (one she can only really relay to Somerset, but not to her husband, Mills). What about Somersets pals in the FBI though? Can they help them? Err - yes - they come up with a name for them to look into - 'John Doe' (Kevin Spacey) - but this does have both positive and negative connotations from them you know.

Well, on the one hand, when Mills and Somerset attempt to interview John at his apartment, he spots them whilst they are at his door, and manages to run free. Whereas, on the other hand, after this even, they both then venture inside John's apartment, and discover they he's the killer.

Great news, right? Maybe? Maybe not? Because what next transpires is a right pain in the serial killer I can tell you. As 'Lust' and 'Pride' are found - the Detective's make some new ground - John Doe has one last ploy - and once you see how all of this ends, you can help but mutter to yourself 'Boy oh boy'.

Now before I boar you senseless with my film review relating to this marvelous piece of garbage, 'Se7en', please allow me to tell you a personal story first. One day, whilst I was at school, I was asked by my teacher to read Dante Alighieri's book "The Divine Comedy". Now at first, I thought to myself "Brilliant! This must be a joke book of some kind", because it had the word 'Comedy' in the title. However, once I sat down and started to read this rather lofty piece of material, not only was I incorrect about my presumption, I was incorrect about how I would feel about this tome as well.

You see, after reading it like a man possessed, I tries to ascertain it's teachings, and become the opposite of sin (so to speak). And do you know what? It's f*cking boring to try and do that for a day or two. I found myself like some kind of monk, with Dante was (kind of), sitting around on my ass all day long, not doing Jack and Bandy about anything. I felt like a politician. Yuck. Thankfully, though, I quickly snapped out of this flux when a friend of mine at school, Loraine, showed me her tits, which were very nice.

Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman in Se7en

Now do you know what else is also very nice? This film (Ohhh! Good segway). In someway this film almost feels like as a period piece, with nourish overtones and gothic underpinning, whilst simultaneously conveying a story about modern crime and then comparing it to the myths of old. Well, conceptually, this story is of the evolving variety. It starts off with two opposing cops – a crime is committed – the cops then join forces – an investigation unravels – and finally, BANG! You say to yourself ‘What the f**k just happened!’ (or words to that effect).

Well, just in the way in which 'this twist' springs forth during the last thirty minutes of the film or so, is just bloody amazing - new even. When this happens you can't help but lean forward from your seat, and join in with Somerset and Mill's in this part of their adventure together. It's that personable. Moreover, all the cast are just great as well. Gwyneth is as adorable. Brad plays the hot-headed cop to a tea. Morgan can make the phone book sound good. And Kevin... oh boy... Kevin is a crafty one I can tell you, 'Hannibal' crafty.

Kevin Spacey in Se7en

Also, I have to mention the creative aspects, huh? Overall, the script and the direction makes this film more than just another run of the mill murder mystery - it elevates it to new heights. I additionally liked the dynamic within this cast as well - with Brad and Gwyneth’s characters the new kids in town, and Morgan’s character a battle scorned retiring cop. Oh! And the way that each character interacts with each other within the story, and does not make it seem merely like as a sub-plot – it’s exquisite.

Brad Pitt and Gweneth Paltrow in Se7en
Just as exquisite as these film facts in fact: (1) All of John Doe's books were created specifically for this film, and cost $15,000 to make. (2) Brad Pitt injured his arm during the chase scene with John Doe, that was why his arm was in bandages for the rest of  this flick. (3) The part of Victor, the skinny chap, was a real person called Michael Reid MacKay - he weighed 96lbs. (4) There was a whole section in the original script about Mill's ex-partner, Parsons, and how after he died, Mill's had an aversion to working with someone else again, without getting too attached. This layer was cut out before filming though. (5) Due to the producers not liking the ending of this movie, an alternate ending was shot. But thankfully, Brad, plus some crafty technicians, changed their minds about this. (6) The casting of this movie was slightly strained at times. Denzel Washington turned down the Brad Pitt role, Mills. David Cronenberg past up the offer to direct it. R. Lee Ermey auditioned for the part of John Doe, and got the part of the police captain instead. Michael Stipe, lead singer of R.E.M., was considered for the role of John Doe. Gwyneth Paltrow was David Fincher's first choice. And Kevin Spacey was cast two days before filmting. (7) Both Kevin Spacey and director, David Finch, shaved their heads for this film. (8) Brad Pitt is an atheist in real life. (9) Writer, Andrew Walker, had a lot of difficulty getting a studio to buy the rights to this script from him, because he did not have a 'name' in Hollywood. And (10) This feature may interest you...

All in all 'Se7en' (or 'Seven' as it was originally called), is just a brilliant piece of cinema. The story is a captivating one. The cast are splendid. The style is pure NuArt. And the complete package is one you can revisit again and again and again. Good film – Brilliant direction – gothic overtones.


SE7EN SE7EN Reviewed by David Andrews on February 16, 2011 Rating: 5
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