Write descriptive essay about Se7en movie 1995, write an essay of at least 500 words on Se7en, 5 paragraph essay on Se7en, definition essay, descriptive essay, dichotomy essay.
Se7en
Year:
1995
Country:
USA
Genre:
Crime, Drama, Thriller, Mystery
IMDB rating:
8.6
Director:
David Fincher
Brad Pitt as Detective David Mills
Morgan Freeman as Detective Lt. William Somerset
Gwyneth Paltrow as Tracy Mills
R. Lee Ermey as Police Captain
Andrew Kevin Walker as Dead Man (as Andy Walker)
Daniel Zacapa as Detective Taylor
John Cassini as Officer Davis
Bob Mack as Gluttony Victim
Peter Crombie as Dr. O'Neill
Reg E. Cathey as Coroner (as Reginald E. Cathey)
George Christy as Workman
Endre Hules as Cab Driver
Hawthorne James as George, Library Night Guard
William Davidson as Library Guard (as Roscoe Davidson)
Storyline: A film about two homicide detectives' desperate hunt for a serial killer who justifies his crimes as absolution for the world's ignorance of the Seven Deadly Sins. The movie takes us from the tortured remains of one victim to the next as the sociopathic "John Doe" sermonizes to Detectives Sommerset and Mills -- one sin at a time. The sin of Gluttony comes first and the murderer's terrible capacity is graphically demonstrated in the dark and subdued tones characteristic of film noir. The seasoned and cultured Sommerset researches the Seven Deadly Sins in an effort to understand the killer's modus operandi while green Detective Mills scoffs at his efforts to get inside the mind of a killer...
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Reviews
With over 900 reviews, mine is hardly necessary : ) Blu-ray: Excellent A:10 V:10
First off, I KNOW that I'm gonna get grief and derision from most here because, I'm sorry, but I don't really think this film is the be all, end all that everyone thinks it is.

YES, it is well made, directed, and acted; and the lighting is sharp which fits the nihilistic 'Noir'ish mood. And, yes, it was indeed pretty much the first of it's kind which set a gritty, dark tone for crime films to come. Fine... I really have no specific negatives about the movie. HOWEVER... At the end of the day did I personally really find it THAT entertaining...? Not really... Yes, the unexpected ending is both shocking and dramatic, but does it honestly make sense...? ***SPOILERS Keven Spacey clearly and explicitly states the reasons why he has committed these murders: That people are doing all these very bad things everywhere all the time and people just don't care; so, he is setting 'the example' of what people should be doing to punish these 'sinners'. Okay... Now we are supposed to believe then that out of the blue he kills a COMPLETELY innocent woman (who is also pregnant) which to me the SOLE purpose is for an (admittedly extremely dramatic and shocking) plot device to set up Mills to kill him...??? Come on... I don't buy it. It is TOTALLY contrary to the very motivation of Kevin Spacey's character. But yeah, what an ending, sure... *** END SPOILERS

Anyway, the question is, what do we find truly entertaining about a film? Putting stylistic touches or technical competence aside (such as visual effects, special or moody lighting, excellent cinematography, sound design, etc.) to me it primarily is this: How engaging or absorbing is the plot or story? How does it carry us along as it develops? How involving and complex are the characters and how interesting is the interplay and relationships between them? Now, these are just basics for most films. I realize that there are special genres or styles that we enjoy individually simply because we like those types of films (1950's Sci Fi, Slasher Horror Films, Ultra-Cheeeeezy Kung Fu movies, etc.) But, with this film at the end of the day what do we have...? Sure, we have this ghoulish, creepy, dark story of a killer who is killing by way of the 7 Deadly Sins. Okay... Characters...? Well, yes, all the actors concerned do a fine job; no real complaints there. BUT...! How deep or complex are they? How fascinating are they really? How engaging and intriguing are their interactions? To me personally, I felt that both the plot and character development to be rather shallow and superficial. I mean, WHAT do we really know about them? How deeply are we drawn into their lives and relationships? I'm sorry, but to me I really don't see a whole hell of a lot going on here other than a bunch of neatly lit, dark and somewhat moody scenes with little or no real substance. And the overall 'message' we are left with? The quite trite, common, and ultimately boring 'No one cares because the evil that people do is so arbitrary and horrible, so what's the point?' Yeah, real depth there...

So, yeah, the film is well put together and there's nothing really 'BAD' about it per se; but, I do not feel myself that after all is said and done that you walk away from it with much of anything. There are darker and FAR more entertaining Horror films out there; and there are also dark, gritty, and INFINITELY more complex and engaging crime films out there. Films where afterward you actually feel like you have either been truly entertained by a story that makes you think and guess and wonder and also with characters who make you feel and care MUCH more about them because they are portrayed in a better, fuller, and more complex way.

So, do I like dark, ambiguous, moody films? YOU BET! Do I like the dark, even nihilistic overtones of period FILM NOIR? ABSOLUTELY! Do I even like films with little substance BUT have TONS of style and mood (a la David Lynch, say) YES SIREE!!! But to me, this film, although of good quality, honestly strikes me as a 'One-Note' simplistic film and I just do NOT quite buy into the ending at all; it is merely a completely nonsensical plot device to give us a slam-bang ending.

I mean, just a random example that comes to mind, I've seen Sandra Bullock's crime film 'MURDER BY NUMBERS' like 3 times and I've fully enjoyed it each time. You have a main character that is extremely complex and engaging; you have antagonists that are thoroughly riveting and with a layered relationship that is completely fascinating. And, you have a story that as it unreels truly draws you into the psyche, feelings, and motivations of the characters. And this is just an off the top, fairly above average example; nothing Earth shaking or anything, but just a simple example of what a movie is SUPPOSED to be. Entertaining...

But, I will say this though... It has to have probably THE best opening credit sequence and background song ever!!!

For this film though, I seriously doubt that I would ever really have the desire to sit down and watch it again...

*** EDIT (2015.02.14)

Heh, I'm actually thinking of watching it again soon... :)
2012-08-15
The Defining Thriller Of The '90's
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

As far as the '90's are concerned, there were two good thrillers: The Silence Of The Lambs and Se7en. Kevin Andrew Walker and David Fincher appeared out of nowhere - B movie productions, actually - and took audiences by surprise with a gritty story that mixed urban loneliness, musings on contemporary life, the buddy cop genre, an unprecedented villain in cinema, a violent message against modern society, an intelligent plot with good dialogue and characterisation, and an unforgettable twist at the end that launched a thousand imitations. Indeed, the effects of the marvelous twist are still visible today, in horrible movies like Secret Window, Identity or Godsend. It's become a rule to expect for a twist in thrillers nowadays, sometimes in movies that don't even need them. The one in Se7en made all the sense and besides there was still a great story behind it with great characters, powerful feelings and high stakes. Some thrillers today, though, seem so committed with dazzling the audiences with their bad twists they forget to tell an actual story in the meantime.

On the surface, Se7en is a very simple movie: a retiring detective teams with up his substitute and for seven days they chase a serial killer whose modus operandi is killing each victim after a different deadly sin. It's almost like those slashers where the killer picks his victims one by one. Like I said, it's a simple story… but then, all the good movies usually are. What sets this villain - named only John Doe - apart from average killers is that he has the determination, patience and cunningness to elaborate a plan that has taken him over a year to finally come together: Mills and Sommerset, the detectives, are just poor fools walking into this trap. They're capable men on the whole, and they even disturb John's plans once, which, to me at least, is what sets off John's terrifying revenge at the end… he just loves having the upper hand. More remarkably, his plan does have a purpose: to sensitise society with his murders, to force everyone to look inside themselves and start thinking about what's wrong in society, through his twisted, corrupted vision, of course… basically, he wants to wake up everyone from what he thinks is a collective sleepwalking, the way people go around their business in every-day life without caring about the others around them, locked in their own tiny lives like they're not part of humanity.

There are several high points in this movie, the twist notwithstanding: any of the murder scenes is shockingly beautiful, sometimes dark and grotesque, others beautiful and full of peace; listening to Bach in this movie was a pleasant surprise, and so is the scene where it's playing, as Sommerset goes about a darkly-lit library looking for books about the seven deadly sins; John Doe walking into the precinct on his own, drenched in blood, asking to be arrested, he strikes everyone as a calm, peaceful little man, but his reputation is so famous everyone just stays clear as if he were a bomber; the conversation between Sommerset and Doe in the car as they drive to the place where Doe has two bodies buried, and they discuss the nature of John's work: is he just a sadistic bastard, or a servant of God? Or is he just a pathetic madmen craving for attention?

Se7en is an impeccable movie from the beginning to the end. I don't see any faults in the acting, directing - Fincher's sets are outstanding! - or screen writing. I loved it the first time I saw it, and it's still one of my favourite movies today. I just wish more thrillers like this were made on a regular - I don't mean hitting us with a boring twist in the last second, but with solid characters, a good story and an intelligent plot.
2004-07-24
Se7en Problems with Se7en
I can't remember the last movie I saw that was this full of crap. How did they convince that cast this story would be anything other than the "t-shirt"/"movie of the week" Brad Pitt's character said it was going to be? The performances were fine (particularly Freeman's and Spacey's). The script, however, was a travesty.

First, the consistency of the killings is completely muddled. The first five murders were committed by Spacey's character ("John Doe"--how original) because of what he perceives to be the sins committed by those he's killed. OK so far. The 6th murder (of Paltrow's character) is also done by Doe, but not because of a sin she's committed, rather because of the sin Doe perceives HE has committed. Got that? And the 7th murder is done by Pitt's character to Doe because of the sin Mills (Pitt) carries with him (I guess?). But even if you link the "Envy" murder of Doe by Mills as one of the 7 sinners who "deserved" to be killed for their sin, why was Paltrow's character killed again? And along with that, why does Pitt's character get to live for the sin of Wrath?

Another plot point that I don't think can be overlooked... If Doe was the religious lunatic he was presented to be, the murder of Paltrow's character and her unborn child would surely have been the 6th AND 7th murders. Doe was aware she's pregnant. Of course, how do you link an unborn child with a deadly sin? I see the writer's problem. His solution was a train wreck.

I also didn't buy at all that Doe was actually envious of Pitt's character. It made for a quirky plot twist, but it seemed so inconsistent for that character. It also didn't make much sense from a plot perspective (see paragraph above).

Have I got to 7 things yet? Did I mention the silly 7 in the title? How about the constant allusions to Somerset's knife, the knife tossing, etc... which turns out to be needed most in the film to open a box?

I guess if you make the assumption that John Doe is insane, then this master plan might make sense to the audience: He's insane, his plan probably shouldn't make sense. But to think that his plan worked, succeeded, was effective or even consistent at all (as Somerset's character implies by telling Mills not to kill Doe and fulfill Doe's plan), is giving WAY to much credit to the writer, and almost no credit to the audience.

I recently saw and reviewed Michael Haneke's "Funny Games" which would fall into the same psychological/horror/thriller genre as "Se7en". And as much as I was affected by "Funny Games" and impressed by Haneke's vision and direction, I said that I couldn't responsibly recommend it. After seeing "Se7en", however, I finally found Haneke's target audience. If "Se7en" is on your recommended must-see list, then "Funny Games" is really the must-see movie for you.
2011-02-26
Se7en - a second viewing 13 years later
Thinking back, I do believe this was my first 18 certificate film I watched at the pictures and it left a real impression. It's always been a favourite even though for some inexplicable reason I have only seen it just the once.

So it was with some trepidation that I bought the 2-disc DVD on ebay recently and decided to watch it the night before last. I wondered if knowing the dramatic outcome already would spoil the viewing pleasure of what goes before.....It didn't.

I wasn't wrong as a 15 year old in my assumptions that it was the best thriller I'd ever seen and while I've seen some great films over the last 13 years I'm pleased to say that this one is right up there with the best of them. It's also weird how I seemed to remember every single detail from every scene, even with my notoriously dodgy memory.

I just can't fault this flawless film, Fincher was on top of his game here and it's definitely my favourite of his and I am a fan of Fight Club
2008-05-21
"This isn't going to have a happy ending."
After years of experiencing dull, formulaic, clichèd so-called thrillers, it's always satisfying when a genuinely great movie comes along. I have absolutely no hesitation in proclaiming 'Se7en' to be such a film, with director David Fincher – after achieving a somewhat mixed result in his cinematic debut, 'Alien³' – firmly proclaiming his place as one of the 1990's most promising new talents. It's somewhat surprising that the movie had managed to elude me for so long, since I'd been wanting to see it for a while, and it was only last week that I managed to get my hands on a DVD copy. And so, without further ado, I invited over a friend, who has an equal partiality towards good thrillers, and enthusiastically promised him one of the best of its decade. 'Se7en' didn't disappoint.

The film takes place in a dark, gritty, unnamed metropolis, where it is always raining and danger looms ominously from every alleyway. Reserved and hardened Detective Lt. William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) has seen it all in his lifetime, and is finally preparing to retire to the country, away from the madness of the city. His replacement, impulsive Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt), has transferred here at his own request, and is eager to make his mark, even though his career choice could be harming the wellbeing of his lonely and vulnerable wife, Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow). Both detectives are soon drawn into the case of a serial killer, John Doe, who is ritualistically murdering his victims according to the Seven Deadly Sins: gluttony, greed, sloth, lust, pride, envy and wrath. As the murders begin piling up, the two detectives' investigation becomes an obsession, and the inevitable outcome will drastically change the lives of both. Throughout the film, Brad Pitt provides most of the comic relief, none of which detracts at all from the horrors we are witnessing on screen.

David Fincher has a unique visual style that is simply thrilling to watch. Despite the thematically dark tone of the story, the film itself is positively brimming with invigorating and vibrantly-contrasted colour and lighting. The graphic murder scenes appear to splash out of the screen, before our very eyes, enhancing the feelings of dread and repulsion that accompany John Doe's horrific acts of murder. The rich, highly-stylised use of colour also helps create a memorable atmosphere of sheer foreboding; the imagery is sure to stay with you for many years to come. Even as 'Se7en' abandons the gritty setting of the city for the final act – shifting the action to a starkly-lit open field beside a trail of electric power-lines – the film loses none of its potency, the isolation of the climactic arena seemingly leaving our main protagonists even more helpless and vulnerable than before.

Our villain is anonymously titled John Doe, and is played with delightful creepiness by Kevin Spacey, who only agreed to the part under the condition that he remain unbilled in the promotion and opening credits of the film. Unlike your typical serial killer, John Doe is not a crazy, impulsive and stupid mad-man, but something rather more terrifying: he is intelligent, patient and methodical. In one particularly ghastly crime, he keeps a convicted drug dealer chained to his bed for an entire year, removing his hands and his tongue, and regularly paying his rent so as to not arouse any suspicions. John Doe's entire life has been dedicated to Mankind's obsession with committing sin, and, through orchestrating his crimes, he wishes to preach to the society of their transgressions. John Doe, rather uniquely, is given a large portion of the film's final half-hour, and so he becomes a character that we come to know very well, as opposed to the half-constructed serial killers who usually turn up in the final five minutes only to be shot by the hero. Spacey is very good in the role, though I can't help but feel that his performance would have been even more effective had I not been familiar with much of his later film work.

The most exciting scene in the film is undoubtedly the hectic foot-chase that ensues when John Doe arrives home to his apartment, only to find Detectives Somerset and Mills waiting patiently outside his door. However, the film's climax is also well worth mentioning: though many interpretations have been floating around, my view is that the final two victims are John Doe himself ("Envy") and David Mills ("Wrath"). In order to prevent himself from being labeled a hypocrite, as Mills had suggested during the car-ride, Doe allowed his own deadly sin - envy - to result in the death of Tracy, and so enticed Mills to shoot him, simultaneously becoming the sixth victim and prompting Mills to commit the seventh sin. Some have argued that, since Mills didn't die, he can't be perceived as one of Doe's victims, but is being left alive in these circumstances perhaps even a more diabolical punishment?
2007-09-15
A dark and disturbing masterpiece.
It is a rarity for a film to be completely unsettling and yet unrelentingly gripping.

David Fincher's story takes place in a bleak and constantly raining city (never named) where urban decay and sleaze in all forms are rampant. Coming up to his retirement from the police force is Detective Lieutenant Somerset (Morgan Freeman) who is tasked with breaking in his replacement, Detective Sergeant Mills (Brad Pitt) before leaving. Somerset is world weary, under no illusions about the futility of the daily role he plays and (initially) wants nothing more than to escape the grime and violence of the city. Mills on the other hand is convinced that he is going to make a real difference having voluntarily transferred to this precinct, bringing his wife to the city with him. Before Somerset can move on, a homicide comes in which he and Mills are assigned to investigate. But its only the first of a string of ritual murders that will be committed by a killer who is basing his crimes on the seven deadly sins as depicted in Dante's "The divine comedy".

To begin with, Se7en appears to be a standard "cops on the trail of a killer" story which shouldn't be too difficult for the audience to get comfortable with. But as we descend along with the characters into the merciless, brutal world without hope that they inhabit, you are left reeling at the events that unfold.

The two detectives enjoy an uneasy relationship with no real friendship ever striking up between them. The older Somerset is educated, astute and gives the impression of being emotionally burnt out. Mills, who has no respect for Somersets methodical investigating gets excited at the thought of solving a murder and firmly believes that the good guys will win eventually. The further we get into the action, the might of the evil that they face pushes both men beyond their limits.

This film draws heavily on biblical themes and you can certainly see similarities with such films as "The Seventh Seal" (1957). Both films show the price that good men have to pay when they fight evil and the unsettling truth that the rule book goes straight out the window when you are dealing with something so diabolical that it has no boundaries or limits at all.

Se7en shows us a world which has been destroyed by its own sins, a wasteland in which values are minimal. The killer, having nothing but contempt for this world, sees it as his mission to expose the faults and show everyone what they have become. It is a fascinating twist that when the killers motives become clearer, Somerset with his greater understanding actually feels some degree of empathy with him. This is lost on Mills though, whose level of clarity never reaches the same point.

A previous reviewer mentioned that you begin to expect the unexpected whilst watching Se7en and i completely agree. Eventually if you think of the most obvious outcome in any situation and predict that the opposite will happen, it usually does. Even the finale itself became kind of predictable because by then you are conditioned not to have any hope. This is a minor flaw though because the story is so well and so shockingly told.

Director David Fincher didn't pick up another script for 18 months, such was his exhaustion and frustration following the completion of Alien 3. Apparently he agreed to direct se7en after one reading of Andrew Kevin Walkers screenplay because he was drawn to its hard hitting delivery about inhumanity. He stated: "It's psychologically violent. It implies so much, not about why you did but how you did it". For the camera work specially altered film stock was used to make the visuals look as dark and unsettling as possible which is complemented well by Howard Shores music score.

The Most disturbing message that Se7en puts across, is that the fight against evil is destined to be a Pyrrhic victory. But regardless the only thing we can do is fight on whatever the cost. We have no other choice.

"The World is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part.
2009-05-06
Methodical, Calculated, Brilliant
This story takes you where it wants you to go.

The proof is that while there are some gruesome acts in this movie (you only see the aftermath, no action), the most disturbing crime in the movie is the least gruesome.

There are very few movies that pull-off a mix of repulsive crime and psychological involvement as well as this one.

The character development was done very well with while not distracting you by burying you in the personal life of each character

Initially, I felt the main detective character was a little unbelievable a bit too methodical. As the character developed though, you start to see that as a part of his personality, the element that levels the playing field between him and the criminal. In the end, I found him to be as diabolically analytical as the criminal.

The chess game between the main detective and the criminal was flawless. Had they got the criminal into custody any other way than they did.. it would have ruined the movie.
2005-07-08
Top Serial Killer Movie
Somerset, (Morgan Freeman) a deeply Intellectual Detective, with barely a week left until his retirement and Mills, (Brad Pitt) the new cop in town, who is a pretty weak detective, are thrown together to investigate what at first appears to be another Homicide.

After a second Victim is found, Somerset realises that this is no open and shut case, and requests that he is relieved, in light of his impending retirement. Mills gladly takes over the case and plunges himself in way over his head.

As the work of a Crimally insane genius continues, Mills grows more and more erratic, and Somerset simply has to remain, to guide his young partner through the case, which ultimately leads to one of the finest climax's in movie history.

With Wonderful Performances from both Freeman and Pitt and a really dark and morbid direction from David Fincher, the movie is crammed with suspense, intrigue and Excitement.

My Favourite scene is John Doe (Kevin Spacey) tearing into Mills in the car, driving towards the Climax, the acting is simply perfect as Pitt's character is torn apart by the genius of the Criminally insane, and Freeman interjects with insightful rationality, demonstrating his superior mind. The Scene Carries such intensity, and at the same time encapsulates the primary characters basic elements. Most actors can't achieve this level of character depth, but these are three of the finest actors of our time. 9/10
2005-01-30
Great, suspenseful, shocking.
Se7en is a movie that is 100% suspense, style, and substance. The movie rises above a made-for-video serial-thriller, and joins Fritz Langs 'M', Johnathan Demme's Silence of the Lambs, and Michael Mahn's Manhunter as the best in its genre.

It is downright depressing, and downbeat, without a hint of humour. It is also compelling and intriguing at the same time.

The best thing about Se7en is the direction. David Fincher proves he isn't some sadistic sicko, by heavily implying the murders and only showing the aftermaths.

Freeman gives a decent performance as Sommerset, and Pitt gives his usually wisecracks as Mills, but Kevin Spacey steals the show in a small, but important part.

It has no horror movie cliches, making it an intelligent movie, too, but it has one scene that will make you jump right out of your seat.

Just when you think it is time for a chase with the killer, and the good guy shooting him for a pleasant, satisfying way to end the day, Fincher takes you for one last turn, which will leave you feeling emotionally drained.

PLOT: 8 DIRECTION: 9 SCRIPT: 9 ACTING: 8 CINEMATOGRAPHY: 8

OVERALL: 8.5
2000-05-30
Dark, Chilly, Brilliant and… Disturbing
David Fincher's best movie until date, Se7en is a dark portrayal of a genius psychopath killer, brilliantly played by Kevin Spacey. He is on camera for no more than last 30 minutes of the movie, but so dominant is his character that the entire movie seems to be cast around his uncanny-ness.

The hero of the movie though is neither he nor Brad Pitt nor Morgan Freeman – the two detectives entrusted with the task of tacking him down. It is the plot and the script, extremely brilliant though very murky and enticingly morbid. You see gory murders that leave trace of heart-rending torture, but all that it makes you do is become more inquisitive about the killer. The killer is the sole obsession with the detectives too and the contrast between Brad Pitt's edginess and Morgan Freeman's poise is very well portrayed. It parallels the contrast between the killer's poise and the edginess of the action sequence.

The climax of the movie is startling, revealing and disturbing. It characterizes the essence of Se7en, a movie that stirs you and makes you sit up and take note of it. Calling Se7en a psychological thriller is understating its significance. It is a movie that goes well beyond that, making you aware of the morbid possibilities that exist in human mind. The movie is also remarkable for the fact the cinematic climax does not provide you any catharsis, it just sets your mind thinking – not in the least about what it takes to craft a script as this and to make a movie as disturbingly poignant as Se7en.
2007-04-05
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