Many films in the crime genre can leave the audience speechless, appalled or just plain surprised, but “Se7en” does more than that. Directed by David Fincher, this film was released on Sept. 22, 1995, and will soon celebrate 25 years since its release. There are various familiar faces that appear throughout the film such as Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow. The film is set in New York City, but was actually filmed in Los Angeles.
One of the most popular subjects crime films focus on is the nature of serial killers and finding the menace to create an intriguing story. The motivations of the serial killer can be an insightful aspect to play with when creating a film, and Fincher uses this as the focal point of the entire film. Morgan Freeman assumes the role of Detective Somerset and is accompanied by David Mills played by Brad Pitt. Throughout the film, they search for a gruesome killer who has taken the lives of others into his own hands.
This particular killer, played by Kevin Spacey, finds motivation within the seven deadly sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. These seven sins play a unique role in the film; not only do they build the foundation for the plot, but they also continue to make the plot interesting and twist the perspective of the story. That being said, this film is not for those with sensitive stomachs. There are extremely blatant scenes that are purposely messy to explain which crime is connected to which sin.
Each scene is filled with little details to capture the aesthetic of a noir detective story in 1995 New York City. Ambulance sirens, pagers, suspenseful music, trench coats, old school telephones and compact spaces are just some features that intensify the setting of the film while highlighting the plot. Not only do the little details of each scene make this detective story more intriguing, but each setting purposely uses dark colors and rainy days to intensify the story.
The dialogue takes a break from other aspects that the film possesses and takes more of a laid back approach to the plot. Since this is a detective story, there are moments when background music fills the void of silence better than a conversation or different noises such as gunshots through an action scene. The convolution and amount of dialogue go hand in hand with the situations that progress throughout the film and don’t overwhelm the film with conversations. It even seems that in certain scenes the dialogue is hinting at something greater. Near the end of the film, the antagonist states “people won’t be able to comprehend it” which perfectly sums up the entirety of the film.
The plot itself follows that of who committed these horrible crimes, and the detectives try to piece it together. Following this investigative story is worth the two hours and six minutes. On top of the phenomenal setting display and the acting, the plot follows the same guidelines but proves to be the most important part of the entire film. This story is unique involving the seven deadly sins, but the execution of the original idea builds the greatness of the film. Freeman and Pitt make a perfect duo to execute Fincher’s plan to amaze the audience through acting and following a fascinating detective story.