Gluttony: A grossly obese man is found, face-down in a bowl of spaghetti, with his arms and legs tied up, indicating that he was forcefully fed. A bucket of the man's vomit is found underneath his seat, which the savvy detectives deduce came on account of being forcefully fed. It is later discovered that John Doe actually went to buy more groceries to continue his torture. Lesson: Manage your weight.
Greed: A lawyer is found in his office with his hands tied and his face planted on a stack of law books. He has bled to death, with his blood scattered across the office; on the floor, they spell GREED, and they also circle the eyes of his wife. Also, a pound of his flesh is placed on a scale--exactly one pound. I don't really understand this murder's relevance to greed. Perhaps John Doe is punishing him by taking things from him because he has too much? Perhaps, indeed. Lesson: Know when something is rightfully yours and when something could be shared with others.
Sloth: A drug dealer is found, mummified, in his apartment with an IV attached to his arm. Scattered with pulpy veins, the corpse takes a desperate breath when the officers are investigating, proving that he is still alive. It is discovered by the savvy detectives that he has been left like this--tied down to his bed, being fed and "cared for"--for a year. Apparently, you can die from lack of activity, though I do not agree with laziness being a sin. Doesn't everyone suffer a bit of procrastination and boredom to do anything on occasion? You know I do. Lesson: Keep yourself busy.
Lust: A prostitute is found (but not shown on screen) with a hysterical customer beside her. The customer describes a strange man--our John Doe--intruding on their good time; the criminal, then, forces the customer, at gunpoint, to "enter" the prostitute. This was their original plan, yet the customer did not plan on wearing an elaborate strap, fashioned with a knife where the organ would be. A murder so gruesome that the film could not depict it. However, this death seems to be merely the idea of John Doe, for he did not physically perpetrate it. I am not pardoning him in any way, but nevertheless. Also, how is the prostitute the victim of lust? Should not the customer suffer the penalty, as he is the one who sought sexual adventure? It's a deadly sin, not a warning. Lesson: Find someone special and form a long-lasting, real relationship.
Vanity: A model is found mutilated in her lavish bedroom, where her self-portrait is adorned over her bed. Her face is wrapped as if she had plastic surgery, and, when revealed, her face has been ripped off her face. The sin is referred to as "pride", which is written in the model's blood over her bed. I think this is a fallacious term because being proud is a good thing, it shows something to be admired. Vanity, the act of being vain, however, is an appropriate word to describe the sin. And vanity has a nicer ring to it, just as sloth sounds better than laziness. No additional elaboration in the crime here, other than it marks the approach of the film's climax--when John Doe emerges from the shadows. Lesson: Be humble.
Envy: The final two murders occur almost simultaneously, if I am correct in my reading of the film. In the conclusion, John Doe shares his jealousy for the life of Detective Mills--how he visited his home to "play husband", and his wife did not appreciate the charade. John Doe, because of his vile sin of envy, punishes Mrs. Mills by cutting off her "pretty little head"--a souvenir, he calls it. Again, as with lust, I feel the murder was misdirected. Why did Mrs. Mills have to die? Just to prove that John Doe is envious? Then shouldn't he, the sinner, die for the deadly sin? I suppose this is just another fault in the script. Lesson: Enjoy your own life.
Wrath: This murder is executed quickly, though with much suspense prior. Detective Mills, struck with agony and rage at the news of his wife's murder, paces back and forth before shooting a satisfied John Doe several times. A deliverer of wrath. Again, he is responsible for the murder while he, himself, having committed the sin. While John Doe rightfully died of envy, based on his doctrines, Detective Mills lives and his wife does not. And the flaws continue to surface. Lesson: Control yourself. That's more of a lesson for every sin, actually.
Quite a nifty spoiler, in case you were wondering what just happened. Though why would you? You're not drunk, nor should you be when reading my blog. Damn. I promised myself I would not refer to this publication as "my" blog. So possessive. Those are simply the giveaways to the execution of the murders, which are, in a nutshell, the basis and only (and I emphasize that only) reason for watching the film. When there are no gruesome crime scenes on screen, Se7en is excruciatingly, and rather disappointingly, dull. Four little letters (no, three little letters) describe the movie Se7en, which can determine an opinion prior to watching the film for a very first time. In addition to being dull, the style in which the movie was filmed was overly pretentious and, quite frankly, weird. Allow me to elaborate.
, such an element of intrigue since the seven deadly sins are concerned, but, unfortunately, does not on account of, perhaps, rotten directing? I don't know. Depending on the following retelling (sans spoilers), you can decide.
Throughout the film, a disturbing rustling accompanies every scene. At first, I thought it was a fault in my own sound system (I have several high-definition speakers, if you'd care to be informed) yet I discovered this was not the case when the noise intermittently appeared in every other scene. It was not rain either. Basically, the director thought it a fancy idea if he add an ominous ambiance to the film, which, he certainly felt, would add an awe-inspiring element of suspense and intrigue. For me, however, the cacophonous melody ruined any chance of enjoyment I had--pretentious, and not at all profound. There's a word to describe the director's intention. Beyond the sound, there is the plot. An extraordinary idea, indeed: a psychotic carries out "the word of God" by murdering seven individuals based on their sin. Ingenious idea, in my opinion. This is the very reason why I wanted to watch the movie, and the fact that it was a beloved cinematic relic among(st) those who appreciated films of the golden nineties. In my case, I did not receive the retribution I expected; apparently, the writer was not talented to the extent of forming a fantastic picture. Oh well. Without a decently orchestrated plot, therefore, the flaws of Se7en were much more striking, focusing primarily on the two key characters.
I was just searching for pictures of Kevin Spacey in the film and found a few images of Heath Ledger's travesty of the Joker. This, to me, implies that John Doe and Ledger's Joker are compatible. Don't you dare place this remarkable villain in the same category as that repulsive cretin of a comic-book menace. There is a great difference between the two, the key factor of which involves the talent of one and the absolute absence of talent in the other. Heath Ledger provided the world with an abhorrent performance that will, hopefully, be recognized as one in the years to come. I do not care if the actor has passed. He should not be honored as a relic solely because of that.
Although the film had an excellent foundation, the director or writer or combination of both prevented Se7en from being the profound film it could have been. Instead, viewers such as myself received a half-hearted, inadequate display of trite detective-banter, a simple storyline, and a two-hour long exposition. Rather than beginning in the first ten minutes, the movie finally became interesting during the conclusion, which does not make for a very good or positively memorable film. As for the suspense leading up to the revelation of the criminal and his logic behind his crimes, there is really nothing there other than pointless drivel between Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt. They try to connect their lives with the crime afoot, yet fall dreadfully short of the attempt. Neither of their characters are smart enough to connect the dots fast enough to keep the viewer on their toes, so to speak, which causes the film to become a lackluster attempt at an impeccably ingenious premise. While Kevin Spacey spares much of the film's shortcomings, the overall film receives a sour review from me. Focusing on the last twenty minutes, however, and you have yourself a fantastic picture, albeit a concise one.
P.S. I finally purchased Dan Brown's Inferno and am currently and rapturously reading it. Enjoy the rest of your week. I sure will.