Rating: Five eyes (out of 5)
directed by: David Fincher
starring: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow
By Theresa Edben
Seven is one of the darkest, most brilliant movies to ever hit the silver screen. Don’t bother watching it on a day when you may have to exert your brain afterwards.
The initial shock is fairly superficial as Brad Pitt’s shorn head fills the screen in shadow (sorry girls, he looked better before). But then the movie starts.
Seven is not a narrow-minded thrill shop. Sure, a deranged serial killer out to teach the world does sound old hat, but the twisted plot and fresh, even more twisted ideas are the pure genius of Andrew Kevin Walker, who wrote the script while working as a Tower Records cashier in New York.
You’d think the actors make this movie with Academy Award-nominee Morgan Freeman, superhunk Brad Pitt, and Hollywood’s lady-in-waiting Gwyneth Paltrow.
But it isn’t who’s in the movie, so much as what the movie is as a whole. Seven more than makes the cut even without the low-angle-slow-motion-pan-shots of Brad Pitt’s sweating body. Or Paltrow exposing her lithe blonde self under her grey sweater and frosted lipstick. Or even without twisting reality into a piece of Hollywood ca-ca after a night of cherry pie and cheap champagne.
The film centers on John Doe, an anonymous man who sees the world as a cesspool of evil. He’s trying to teach the evil of our ways through the seven deadly sins: gluttony, greed, sloth, lust, pride, envy, and wrath. But Doe has a funny way of teaching: he uses the extremity of sin to kill the sinner.
In a rainy, non-descript American city, this is the last thing Leuitenant William Somerset (Freeman) wants to handle six days before he’s supposed to retire. Especially while breaking in and training his eager replacement, Detective David Mills (Pitt). Together, they are taken into the downward spiral of Doe’s macabre, criminal mind. A journey enhanced by aged, dark and mysterious cinematography and special effects.
Seven wasn’t like some cheesy rendition of a Hunter episode. Freeman and Pitt worked with a LAPD technical advising team for that real-cop feel.
This is a movie that forces your brain to think and churn at the same time. Director David Fincher knows what he’s doing, as in the past with Alien3.
Seven is a film of extreme terror, talent and intelligence. But no matter what anyone tells you, you’re not going to walk into that theatre prepared. It’s gruesome, but witty, not to mention entirely possible. Not for a minute are you left thinking, “yeah, right, whatever.” It’s a must see. And if you chew your nails, this is worth about two thumbnails and a pinkie.