Se7en (Review)

As 7 much 7 as 7 I 7 wanna 7 see 7 Brad 7 Pitt 7 as 7 nothing 7 but 7 a 7 pretty 7 boy 7 I 7 must 7 admit 7 the 7 guy 7 takes 7 a 7 few 7 chances 7 here 7 and 7 there. 7 Early 7 in 7 his 7 career 7 he 7 got 7 a 7 little 7 dirty 7 in 7 Kalifornia, 7 even 7 though 7 he 7 got 7 a 7 mite 7 cartoony 7 he 7 definitely 7 went 7 balls 7 out 7 in 7 Twelve 7 Monkeys, 7 and 7 with 7 Se7en 7 he 7 took 7 part 7 in 7 one 7 of 7 the 7 better, 7 and 7 more 7 graphic 7 and 7 disturbing 7 it 7 must 7 be 7 said, 7 films 7 in 7 2 7 decades.

Pitt 7 plays 7 Mills, 7 only 7 his 7 missus 7 Tracey 7 (Gwyneth 7 Paltrow) 7 refers 7 to 7 him 7 as 7 anything 7 else, 7 an 7 experienced 7 detective 7 who 7 has 7 specifically 7 requested 7 to 7 be 7 transferred 7 to 7 one 7 of 7 the 7 toughest 7 and 7 grittiest 7 (unnamed) 7 cities 7 to 7 work 7 the 7 hard 7 cases. 7 He 7 is 7 gung-ho, 7 determined, 7 impulsive 7 and 7 ambitious, 7 the 7 antithesis 7 of:

Somerset 7 (Morgan 7 Freeman, 7 a 7 longstanding 7 detective 7 nearing 7 retirement. 7 Somerset 7 is 7 disciplined, 7 by 7 the 7 book 7 and 7 efficient, 7 but 7 jaded 7 and 7 worn 7 down 7 by 7 decades 7 of 7 the 7 everyday 7 grief 7 and 7 depravity 7 surrounding 7 him. 7 Somerset’s 7 boss 7 practically 7 begs 7 for 7 him 7 to 7 stay 7 on, 7 but 7 it 7 has 7 seemingly 7 become 7 too 7 much.

He 7 has 7 only 7 seven 7 days 7 left. 7 In 7 retrospect 7 he 7 should’ve 7 retired 7 a 7 week 7 earlier.

In 7 the 7 final 7 days 7 Somerset 7 is 7 teamed 7 up 7 with 7 Mills 7 for 7 a 7 “handover 7 period”, 7 to 7 show 7 Mills 7 the 7 ropes 7 and 7 get 7 him 7 up 7 to 7 speed 7 on 7 the 7 happenings 7 in 7 the 7 case 7 files. 7 Somerset 7 resents 7 Mills’ 7 impetuousness 7 and 7 Mills 7 resents 7 the 7 fact 7 that 7 Somerset 7 is 7 treated 7 him 7 like 7 a 7 green 7 recruit.

“We’re best buddies.”

Don’t 7 worry, 7 they 7 make 7 friends.

Somerset 7 openly 7 questions 7 why 7 Mills 7 would 7 actually 7 apply 7 to 7 work 7 in 7 such 7 a 7 depressing 7 place, 7 and 7 the 7 impact 7 that 7 it 7 may 7 have 7 on 7 young 7 Tracey 7 and 7 their 7 relationship. 7 Mills 7 wonders 7 if 7 Somerset 7 has 7 simply 7 lost 7 it 7 and 7 is 7 taking 7 the 7 easy 7 way 7 out 7 by 7 retiring. 7 Then 7 something 7 comes 7 along 7 that 7 shows 7 that 7 they 7 were 7 both 7 right.

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You think you hate Mondays.

Monday 7 7 A 7 murder 7 is 7 called 7 in, 7 the 7 victim 7 a 7 morbidly 7 obese 7 man 7 who 7 it 7 seems 7 has 7 literally 7 eaten 7 himself 7 to 7 death 7 (Warning 7 to 7 Oprah, 7 Kirsty 7 Alley 7 and 7 Jessica 7 Simpson, 7 it 7 is 7 possible), 7 as 7 the 7 evidence 7 is 7 totted 7 up 7 and 7 analysed 7 Somerset 7 suspects 7 this 7 is 7 only 7 part 7 of 7 a 7 more 7 grand 7 and 7 despicable 7 scheme, 7 and 7 he 7 wants 7 out. 7 Of 7 course 7 Mills 7 says 7 “Hell 7 Yeah” 7 and 7 takes 7 the 7 case.

Tuesday 7 7 A 7 lawyer 7 is 7 murdered 7 (that’s 7 still 7 a 7 crime?) 7 and 7 “GREED” 7 is 7 written 7 in 7 blood 7 on 7 the 7 walls 7 as 7 a 7 message 7 or 7 warning, 7 or 7 maybe 7 just 7 amateur 7 graffiti? 7 (I 7 am 7 MC 7 Greed 7 comin’ 7 at 7 ya!) 7 Now 7 Somerset 7 is 7 damn 7 sure 7 he 7 wants 7 nothing 7 to 7 do 7 with 7 this 7 and 7 he 7 backs 7 away, 7 only 7 his 7 inquisitive 7 nature 7 and 7 inherent 7 curiosity 7 leads 7 him 7 to 7 do 7 some 7 research 7 and 7 make 7 some 7 suggestions 7 to 7 Mills 7 that 7 might 7 point 7 him 7 in 7 the 7 right 7 direction. 7

Se7en 7 is 7 different 7 to 7 the 7 other 7 million 7 or 7 so 7 serial 7 killer 7 movies 7 in 7 that 7 it 7 shows 7 the 7 intricate 7 research 7 that 7 must 7 go 7 into 7 such 7 investigations, 7 including 7 the 7 mistakes 7 and 7 assumptions 7 made 7 along 7 the 7 way. 7 It 7 also 7 shows 7 in 7 similar 7 detail 7 the 7 plotting 7 and 7 twisted 7 logic 7 that 7 goes 7 into 7 planning 7 such 7 a 7 series 7 of 7 “works”, 7 what 7 is 7 most 7 disturbing 7 is 7 how 7 cool 7 and 7 calculated 7 it 7 all 7 seems. 7 Somerset 7 himself 7 indicates 7 that 7 they 7 will 7 only 7 catch 7 the 7 killer 7 “if 7 he 7 wants 7 to 7 be 7 caught”.

So 7 after 7 a 7 couple 7 days 7 investigating 7 murders 7 nothing 7 brings 7 a 7 couple 7 together 7 like 7 inviting 7 your 7 partner’s 7 work 7 home 7 for 7 dinner. 7 Tracey 7 makes 7 the 7 arrangements 7 and 7 Somerset 7 comes 7 over 7 for 7 a 7 feed 7 that 7 night. 7 (My 7 wife 7 is 7 an 7 expert 7 at 7 facilitating 7 such 7 things, 7 and 7 is 7 a 7 far 7 better 7 networker 7 than 7 I 7 will 7 ever 7 be!) 7 After 7 dinner 7 the 7 chat 7 turns 7 to 7 the 7 inevitable 7 and 7 as 7 they 7 discuss 7 the 7 case 7 they 7 seem 7 to 7 make 7 a 7 breakthrough.

BINGO! 7 Somerset 7 is 7 back 7 in.

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As 7 the 7 week 7 progresses 7 and 7 more 7 bodies 7 stack 7 up 7 the 7 pair 7 realise 7 that 7 the 7 killer 7 is 7 using 7 the 7 Seven 7 Deadly 7 Sins 7 as 7 guidance 7 for 7 his 7 inspiration, 7 and 7 as 7 they 7 move 7 closer 7 and 7 closer 7 to 7 full 7 realisation 7 they 7 seem 7 to 7 be 7 edging 7 tantalisingly 7 close 7 to 7 nabbing 7 him, 7 only 7 he 7 always 7 seems 7 one 7 step 7 ahead 7 and 7 in 7 full 7 control.

The 7 search 7 takes 7 us 7 through 7 the 7 more 7 seedy 7 elements 7 of 7 humanity 7 where 7 fairness, 7 compassion 7 and 7 the 7 mainstream 7 have 7 long 7 since 7 been 7 forgotten. 7 There 7 is 7 disturbing 7 imagery 7 throughout 7 the 7 film 7 from 7 the 7 early 7 goings 7 to 7 the 7 credits, 7 but 7 it 7 always 7 seems 7 to 7 keep 7 a 7 foot 7 firmly 7 planted 7 in 7 plausible 7 pseudo-reality.

Given 7 the 7 surroundings 7 and 7 the 7 nature 7 of 7 hubby’s 7 first 7 gig 7 since 7 arriving 7 in 7 town 7 Tracey 7 decides 7 she 7 wants 7 to 7 leave 7 the 7 city 7 but 7 is 7 scared 7 that 7 Mills 7 doesn’t 7 share 7 her 7 view. 7 She 7 also 7 has 7 news 7 for 7 Mills 7 that 7 she 7 is 7 terrified 7 of 7 telling 7 him.

As 7 Mills 7 and 7 Somerset 7 move 7 ever 7 closer 7 the 7 pace 7 ratchets 7 up, 7 a 7 chance 7 encounter 7 ends 7 in 7 a 7 frenetic 7 chase 7 that 7 only 7 narrowly 7 fails, 7 and 7 they 7 seem 7 to 7 be 7 continually 7 fumbling 7 around 7 in 7 the 7 killer’s 7 vapours, 7 a 7 visit 7 to 7 his 7 very 7 lair 7 gives 7 them 7 both 7 a 7 more 7 concrete 7 view 7 of 7 the 7 extent 7 of 7 his 7 preparations 7 and 7 the 7 measures 7 he 7 will 7 take 7 to 7 complete 7 his 7 opus.

I 7 think 7 even 7 those 7 that 7 haven’t 7 seen 7 the 7 film 7 are 7 aware 7 of 7 the 7 basics 7 of 7 the 7 ending, 7 but 7 without 7 the 7 100+ 7 minutes 7 preceding 7 that 7 scene 7 it 7 would 7 simply 7 be 7 another 7 hokey 7 device 7 instead 7 of 7 the 7 kick 7 in 7 the 7 guts 7 that 7 it 7 became.

The 7 spoiler-free 7 version 7 admits 7 that 7 Somerset 7 and 7 Mills 7 eventually 7 meet 7 with 7 their 7 target 7 and 7 share 7 some 7 compelling 7 scenes, 7 and 7 even 7 if 7 you 7 know 7 the 7 result 7 it 7 is 7 still 7 worth 7 revisiting, 7 and 7 in 7 the 7 off 7 chance 7 you 7 don’t 7 yet 7 know 7 I 7 won’t 7 spoil 7 it 7 here.

Clean your room!

The 7 strength 7 of 7 Se7en 7 isn’t 7 in 7 the 7 acting 7 (excellent, 7 especially 7 the 7 myriad 7 character 7 actors 7 involved), 7 the 7 script 7 (also 7 exceptional) 7 or 7 the 7 detail 7 that 7 went 7 into 7 every 7 aspect 7 of 7 production 7 (for 7 example: 7 the 7 killer 7 has 7 dozens 7 of 7 books 7 filled 7 with 7 rambling, 7 largely 7 incoherent 7 handwritten 7 pages, 7 the 7 director 7 paid 7 someone 7 $15,000 7 to 7 painstakingly 7 complete 7 the 7 task, 7 no 7 photocopies 7 or 7 effects!).

The 7 success 7 of 7 Se7en 7 is 7 all 7 of 7 those 7 things 7 combined 7 plus 7 a 7 dogged 7 adherence 7 to 7 maintaining 7 the 7 tone 7 in 7 all 7 possible 7 facets, 7 the 7 background, 7 the 7 settings 7 and 7 the 7 action 7 that 7 takes 7 place. 7 It 7 takes 7 a 7 lot 7 of 7 work 7 and 7 skill 7 to 7 make 7 depressing 7 material 7 this 7 captivating. 7 Se7en 7 is 7 brilliant 7 cinema 7 and 7 should 7 be 7 studied 7 in 7 much 7 the 7 same 7 way 7 as 7 (too 7 many) 7 rational 7 people 7 study 7 serial 7 killers.

Final Rating – 9 / 10. Forget Fight Club, I’ll take Se7en any day of the week as director David Fincher’s best. I hope he has more like this left in him.

About OGR

While I try to throw a joke or two into proceedings when I can all of the opinions presented in my reviews are genuine. I don't expect that all will agree with my thoughts at all times nor would it be any fun if you did, so don't be shy in telling me where you think I went wrong... and hopefully if you think I got it right for once. Don't be shy, half the fun is in the conversation after the movie.
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