Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Seven. A-

I imagine some people wouldn't be able to stomach the disturbing violence in David Fincher's 'Seven.' It's quite a grisly affair, a movie filled with shocking images of the aftermaths of brutal murders. The title refers to the seven deadly sins, which, if you've ever taken a religion course, you probably know about. Properly known as the Cardinal Sins, the seven vices consist of wrath, greed, envy, gluttony, sloth, pride, and lust. The story centers around a sadistic killer (who we don't meet until the end) who bases his murders around these sins committed by people. One death per sin, seven murders in all, let the countdown begin. The killer is pursued by two detectives, David Mills (Brad Pitt) and William Somerset (Morgan Freeman). Despite being tense, taut, and impeccably crafted, what I really liked about 'Seven' was the emotional impact the movie had. Unlike other police murder mysteries with big stars ('Righteous Kill' for example) 'Seven' has a true emotional impact. Instead of just being about the story it's also about the characters. I know that's said about a lot of movies, but it's particularly potent here since the plot is so integral to the film. There are some great scenes that truly humanize these characters, such as when William has dinner with David and his wife Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow), or when Tracy meets William in a restaurant to have a personal conversation. These tender, merciful moments made 'Seven' great and also sort of compensated for the gruesome deaths that are the real focus of the movie. When you see a movie like 'Seven' and you come away liking it as much as I did it's because the script really is solid, the direction truly exemplary of a master in peak form, and because the performances are so convincing. This is why 'Seven' is so good. Because it's so well made. 'Seven' concludes with a devastating finish, but it also leaves us with one of the most provocative lines in the movies. It's not original, but a quote from Hemingway: 'The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.' Freeman ends it saying, 'I agree with the second part.'

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