HOLLYWOOD—Asking a movie buff his or her favorite movie, is like asking them to choose which parent they love best; it’s no easy choice. When I think of a ‘favorite’ movie, I think of a film that no matter what mood I’m in, no matter how tired I am, if it comes on television or I want to watch a good flick that is the one to select. Trying to guess this one will be quite difficult to say the least, but “Seven” is perhaps my favorite flick of all-time.
There is something alluring and just riveting about this psychological thriller starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as detectives on the hunt for a sadistic serial killer who has been taking people out based on the seven deadly sins. The idea alone is just genius, but what is exhilarating is the fact that the seven deadly sins do indeed play a role in our daily lives. You can tell yourself that you don’t embody one of the seven deadly sins, but trust me we all do; we just don’t want to acknowledge it at times.
I hate when people equate “Seven” to a horror film. It’s not a horror film! People are not getting picked off one-by-one by some sadistic killer wearing a mask and not aware of the chaos around them. The audience knows from the very moment that the movie starts something dark is hovering New York City and hell is about to break loose. Pitt, who many would consider a novice actor the time the flick was made, delivers some stellar work as Detective David Mills. I’m still a bit shocked his performance didn’t yield an Oscar-nomination.
He’s that character that doesn’t play around, he speaks his voice at all times and the fact that he is a hot-head puts him in some peculiar situations. On the other side of things, we have his partner Morgan Freeman, who portrays Detective William Somerset. He’s a wise fellow, someone who knows NYC better than anyone else. Why might that be? Well, he grew up here and the chaos and macabre he’s experienced has taken a toll on his psyche. I think his tale resonates with many who live in big cities where crime is prevalent; it’s hard to understand and comprehend why some people behave the way they behave.
Somerset is on the verge of retiring, but his ego in my opinion, keeps him intrigued with the case. He wants to know just why this killer is utilizing the seven deadly sins as his motives for his ‘work.’ The cat-and-mouse game exhilarates when our protagonists get a lead placing them face-to-face with the killer, but not before he maintains the upper hand. Kevin Spacey, who inhibits the role of John Doe, has a penance for playing characters who are not easily understood. We might not see his actual character until the final 45 minutes of the movie, but those scenes he have with Freeman and Bitt are just brilliant.
It doesn’t hurt that the film has a witty and smart script and that it is helmed by director David Fincher who in my opinion really got the opportunity to showcase his skills behind the camera with this movie. Fincher does something amazing at the end of the movie. That moment that Somerset opens that box, we know it’s something bad, but we have no idea what’s in the box.
For those who have never seen the movie, your mind will be blown away by the revelation, what’s even more tantalizing is that the audience never gets to see what is in the box, we are just TOLD it. That is the work of a clever director. Sometimes it’s not what you see that matters, it’s how it’s conveyed to the audience that is more impactful. As bad as I wanted to see Tracy’s (Gwyneth Paltrow) head in the box; it is better that we don’t. I kept telling myself if there was ever a movie in the world that deserves a sequel it’s this movie. Gosh, my mind is just exploding with ideas where the characters can be taken, even if it’s been over 20 years since the movie first hit multiplexes. There is now time like the present to reunite two great actors, with a great director and a sharp script to take the viewers on a rollercoaster ride. “Seven” is a classic that no other thriller to this date has lived up to.