David Fincher's "Se7en"

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David Fincher's "Se7en" Empty David Fincher's "Se7en"

Post by Deviss on Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:35 pm

Boy, was this a fun experience!

Deviss wrote:“Honestly, have you ever seen anything like this?”

  • Story: Four and a half Stars
  • Acting: Four and a half Stars
  • Directing: Four and a half Stars
  • Visuals: Four and a half Stars
  • Overall: Four and a half Stars


That was the first word out of my mouth as the credits began to roll across my television screen. This movie came highly recommended by a friend and fellow MovieWeb reviewer, "Slysnide", shortly after the theatrical release of "Iron Man 3". What the recommendation itself was based on I can't recall exactly, I think it had to do with a brief exchange about Gwyneth Paltrow between the two of us. Regardless of that, I am glad that Sly suggested I see it, I'm even glad that she pestered me as often as she did. If she didn't, I probably would have forgotten about it and never sat down to watch it. But boy am I happy that I did.


Set in an unknown city of near-constant rain and urban decay, Detective Lt. William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt) are called in to investigate the particularly unusual case of a sadistic serial killer who chooses his victims according to the seven deadly sins. The hopeful but naive rookie finds himself partnered with the veteran as they try to track down the psychopath before all seven victims are killed. But things are not at all what they appear to be. As the two detectives soldier on, they begin to realize that the events they are a part of are like nothing they have ever seen and will change both of their lives forever.

For a while after the credits stopped rolling, after I'd taken the DVD disc out of the player and returned it to its old style case, I didn't say anything more than the single word that led into this review. Why? Because there was nothing more *to* say about it, as far as I was concerned. But even though my mouth didn't move in response to it, my mind was racing, processing what I had just seen. The ultimate conclusion was that watching "Se7en" was a wholly unique and interesting two hours and eight minutes. I've seen my fair share of Thriller movies over the years, but none of which have left with the sort of effect and thought processes that "Se7en" succeeded in doing.

The biggest thing, the most influential part in achieving that after-effect is in fact the movie's ending. Though before you get your panties in a twist, no I will not be spoiling the ending of this movie. I've never done that outright and I intend to maintain that standard for as long as I do this. What I will say about the climax of this movie is that, after going back and thinking about it for a while, one of the characters in this movie telegraphs how the movie itself will end. Not in explicit detail, obviously, but in a broader sense. It's a line that I very nearly used as the overall quote for this review, but decided against: "This isn't going to have a happy ending." That line, said by Morgan Freeman's character, is an encapsulation of this movie as a whole. "Se7en" does not have a "happy ending" and that is what I love most about it.

It doesn't adhere to the stereotypical tropes of this film genre, but instead teases you with them. It makes you think everything will play out as you assume it would, based on whatever preconceived notions about movies like this that you take in with you, only to veer from them in the climax of the third act and say, "Yep, this happened instead. You don't like it? Too f---ing bad, deal with it." If you were to ask me to define "film noir", I would point you in the direction of this movie. It shows the moods of pessimism, fatalism, menace, as well as an abundance of cynical characters throughout its run-time.

Touching on the characters, I found them all to be entertaining as well as engrossing in equal measure. They all serviced the movie in their respective ways, contributing in different amounts, which ultimately led to the film's climactic moments. Morgan Freeman's levelheaded seasoned-yet-cynical character of William Somerset was the perfect foil to Brad Pitt's cocky, hotheaded David Mills. They balanced each other out well, each providing insights that the other wouldn't have considered. The supporting cast, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey, were good in their respective roles. Spacey as the enigmatic and fanatical serial killer and Paltrow as the unsuspecting wife of Detective mills. Both accomplished what their characters needed to do in the time that they were given.

The only other aspect of this movie that I want to touch on is the cinematography. Darius Khondji shot this movie at angles that I'd never considered before, but found completely unique and refreshing. Instead of keeping close on the actors' faces, like most other movies of this genre would, he instead opts for the far-away shots so that we the audience can take in all of what is happening around the characters. Also, in key later scenes, to maintain the sense of mystery and foreboding. Out of everything, one particular shot has stayed with me in the twenty-four hours since I watched this movie and that was the scene of David Mills being held at gunpoint. Normally, we would see this transpire from a sidelong shot, so as to see both people involved. That's not what happens in this movie. Much like the ending, instead of sticking to the conventional, we get the opposite; as Mills is being held at gunpoint, we see things from his perspective. The barrel of the gun is fixed in the lower left of the screen, as the near-constant rain falls on both the gun and screen. Absolutely great.

It goes without saying that I enjoyed this movie, but I'm going to say it anyway. I enjoyed the crap out of "Se7en", all two hours and eight minutes of it. From the unusual opening to the unbelievable ending, this movie was great. Not once did it feel like things were slow or dragging, and not once did I grow bored with any character. If you haven't seen this movie by now, something not too difficult to do (Case and point: Me) do yourself a favor and see it as soon as possible.

This was a review by tMG and... what was in the f---ing box?!

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David Fincher's "Se7en" Empty Re: David Fincher's "Se7en"

Post by frang on Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:21 am

I remember this movie, in that it exists.  Other than that, no memory of it.  I must not have seen it.  I thought you meant "Slevin" as in "Lucky Number Slevin," which I have seen.

I probably didn't see it because I am both bored and irritated with serial killer movies, and have been for a long time.  I'm probably the only person on the planet not to have seen Silence of the Lambs.


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