Se7en (1995) Movie Review

Se7en (1995)   4/54/54/54/54/5

Morgan Freeman in Se7en (1995)

2 Detectives, 7 Sins

Det. William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) has just a few days left before he retires and doesn't want to be drawn in to any major case or get close to Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt) who has transferred to the department. But when a series of depraved killings leads Somerset to realise that the killer is murdering victims in relation to the seven deadly sins he feels obliged to support Mills who is a lot more gung ho than he is. But with each discovery of a victim becoming increasingly upsetting Somerset wonders whether they will ever get their man despite managing to find the room where he has been living.

I once asked someone what was so great about the movie "Se7en" and they struggled to come up with an answer. And I have found this is often what happens when "Se7en" is brought up in discussion with your average movie goer who on hearing you say "Se7en" respond with "great movie" but then they can't explain why they say it is great. Trust me when you bring up "Se7en" with movie critics and film students you certainly get a lot of answers, many of which simply spoil the enjoyment of watching movies, but this is one of those movies which I am sure the public's perception is partly down to being told it is a great movie.

Brad Pitt in Se7en (1995)

Now for me I think "Se7en" is a very good movie, one which paved the way for a whole sub-genre of movies with its disturbing and graphic nature when it comes to the victims and the way they are killed. To put it simply I wonder if there had never been "Se7en" would we have had the "Saw" movies or "Hostel". As such a big part of the movie is its disturbing nature which escalates when it comes to the victims and the way they died with some scenes not even needing to be gore filled but simply suggestive such as a scene where we learn how a prostitute was brutally murdered. And without giving anything away it is the suggestive brutality of the final killings which gave the movie not only an aspect of being clever but also upsetting.

But here is the thing; take out the disturbing and graphic nature of the murder scenes as we see a naked fat man having stuffed himself to death or a lazy man starved and what do you have left. Well the whole investigation is neither here nor there and that leaves the character interplay of the youthful and easy to anger Mills working alongside the more methodical Somerset with their differences often being the focus of a scene. It is still entertaining and both Freeman and Pitt play their parts very well but the routine nature of the investigating kind of lets it down and puts most of the focus on the disturbing nature of the scenes featuring the victims.

What this all boils down to is that "Se7en" was and still is a very good movie, easily above just being average with its disturbing nature still being surprisingly shocking even now more than 20 years later. But for me this is a movie so reliant on the disturbing nature that you don't notice some of the flaws elsewhere including several scenes early on which are little more than filler.