Se7en (1995)

Genre: Crime, Thriller

Director: David Fincher

Writer: Andrew Kevin Walker

Starring: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman

Rating: ★★★★½

Se7en is thrilling, intelligent and iconic. David Fincher’s creation is possibly one of the best thrillers ever made, making for one of the most tense and suspense-filled viewings you could experience. The well-executed story is unique and gruesome, whilst the film editing, performance and sound all combine to produce a great end product. Se7en is David Fincher making a film that not only entertains but scars.

The story surrounds two cops, young “in your face” rookie Detective Mills (Brad Pitt) and his partner Detective Somerset (Morgan Freeman) who’s  old, calm and philosophical. The pair investigates a series of murders but soon realise that the killer is imitating the seven deadly sins with his victims, killing greed, gluttony, envy, sloth, pride, lust and wrath to teach “society” a lesson. However Mills and Somerset are up against an intelligent and sick-minded individual who uses the two detectives like puppets on a string, always being in charge. The film fuels from the hunt for the brutal serial killer, but as the story and case unfolds two of the best plot twists in cinema history unravel resulting in a thrilling nervous viewing experience.

Se7en has become such an iconic film due to its ability to provide in every area and element. The screenplay is the best from its genre and era combined, as it puts more than a few twists on the classic generic “cop vs. killer” thriller. The idea of embedding the seven deadly sins is brilliant and the way Fincher adapts this idea is pure gold. As the audience we see every drop of every blood spilt and every single centimetre of decayed flesh that leaves a gruesome image in your mind. As an audience we are really engaged and attached, the idea is that we are on this case and journey with Mills and Somerset, completely mystified, isolated and fearful. David Fincher again adding the components of a horror to astonishing effects, the dark foreboding feel and look created by his much used technique of a “bleach bypass” creates a much depressing film and experience leaving you stunned.

The performances captured by both Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman are award-winning. Freeman’s portrayal of Somerset is great, creating a realistic display, my favourite being within the final scene. Brad Pitt was outstanding throughout and from his display especially that final scene again there’s no wonder that Fincher keeps recalling him. Technically Se7en is brilliant too; whilst many will shine praise onto the editing that was nominated for the Oscar I personally admire the score. The almost droning sound gets underneath your skin, making you constantly on edge. Howard Shore the composer to its original score deserves much credit.

Se7en was Fincher’s first blow-away film, it was from here that you knew more would follow and they’d get better, nastier and braver. Se7en isn’t an old film, but nevertheless it’s still popular at just over a decade on and I can see it being timeless and having an endless shelf-life. The final scenes alone will blow away competition from others, Se7en has this unique structure, it was very fast and upbeat throughout but during the end it slows down. This again un-eases the audience, it steadies us for one of the most horrific film endings. The impact Se7en has is remarkable. You walk away from the film reflecting on what a cruel world we live in. It’s that connection we have to the film and the characters that make it so special and what creates that impact. Se7en is certainly one of the “classics” from the last quarter-century and a film you really need to watch. It’s also a film that shows of classic Fincher.