Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Film Review: Se7en (1995)

Seven (or Se7en) (Review)
United States/1995
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...the less you know, the better!"

Recently transferred homicide detective David Mills (Brad Pitt) and the soon-to-retire William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) team up to capture a sadistic serial killer whose murders relate to the seven deadly sins.

Seven, or Se7en, is a neo noir psychological thriller. In this case, the less you know, the more effective the experience. The investigation plays a large role in the film -- Mills and Somerset use every trick in the book to trace the elusive killer, including reading books about the seven deadly sins to predict his movements and to get into his head. The story is as much about the atrocious crimes of the serial killer as it is about Miller and Somerset as partners and separate characters; character development is deep yet subtle, focusing on dialogue, actions, and expression. This engaging investigation leads to an unbelievable climax -- the pure intensity had me clenching my fist, sweat dripping down the side of my face, lungs full of air... Remember, the less you know, the better!

I thoroughly enjoyed Seven. This isn't an action thriller full of explosions and fistfights. No, this is a thought-out, psychological thriller. The dialogue is dominant in this film with engaging conversations and deep investigations; you're listening to every word because every word has a purpose; you're glued to the screen because you don't want to miss a single piece of evidence. In fact, you might want to break out a notepad and get involved with the investigation. There are some disturbing and shocking visuals, but most of the violence is off-screen; most of the investigation focuses on the aftermath of a torturous death. Thanks to its engaging attitude, Seven has a ferocious pace and a forgiving runtime.

Morgan Freeman is fantastic with his deep performance; his smooth dialogue delivery and facial expressions end in genuine emotion and character. Brad Pitt is much more arrogant in his role, and he captures it exceptionally; his few moments of overacting are easily forgivable due to the rest of his amazing performance and his arrogant charisma. Kevin Spacey also delivers with a devilish and captivating performance. The music stands out from the beginning with an ominus, chilling track, and it stays consistently dark and immersive as it blends seamlessly with the film and its themes. David Fincher's direction is masterful as he brilliantly crafts this dark, gritty tale.

Overall, Seven, or Se7en, is a brilliant psychological crime thriller. It delves deep into an engaging investigation as well as into the mind of a serial killer, and ends with an unforgettable climax that will leave you breathless. (the less you know!) This is one of my favorite films, and I highly recommend it.

Score: 10/10 
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, some nudity.

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