What puts Seven above the normal detective tale is its method of discovery; It emits a picture-book quality by inspecting the crime after the murder’s committed and analyzes it in real language. A B-grade director would want to slide in flashback whiz-scenes of the murder, with shaky frames and loud beating music. But Fincher has the characters, detectives, and Doctor’s explain the outcome, and the visualization of each crime is more frightening than any flashback.

Two detectives must fight through the muck and poverty of their city and seek a murderer who, by way of the book-smarts of Detective Somerset, has a medieval modus operandi: Each murder relates to a sin in the seven deadly sins. They weave through after-effects of the murder, disgusting and impure, yet still Detective Somerset considers the man to be highly intelligent and methodical, while rookie Mill’s diagnoses him as just another wack-job, as if he has seen them all.

The cop-duo between Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman plays along well, in fact in some ways I find the screenwriter wanted us to pick our man; as if the whole murder-case was a question of righteousness, before they even knew they were being tested. They both had niches, vices, idiosyncrasies, but if it came down to a choice, I’d say hotshot detective David Mills was the least-respectable; he needed immediate gratification in all he did; arguing for him is a one-rant and get out ordeal; punching in doors and shouting at journalists is his personal equilibrium. Impulsive, unprecedented, and obscure, it would have been in no way surprising to me if the final shot revealed in text that he either killed himself or was shot in a break-in.

Seven is an undoubtedly great, stylistic film with an ending bound to tighten the stomach muscles, and a director who’s future will shine in the industry, partly because of the shared sense of methodology with his film’s murderer.


Review: The Woman In the window

Fritz Lang molded this film with precision and conspicuous irony, creating a perspective filled with tension and wavering beliefs. He puts us directly in the mind of the murderer without voice-overs or scenes of confession. A typically moral professor, played by Edward G. Robinson, hits rock bottom when he makes an impulsive and frightened response to a raging boyfriend of a woman he befriends; it results in the death of the alpha-lover and the consequences, emotionally and sociologically, that ensue.

Proffesor Richard Wanley gets in real trouble after the murder he commits; he is a highly unexpected culprit, and in fact has friends in the police department. When they talk about the case, he becomes jittery and wants to change the subject. But he eventually is taken onto the scene of the crime, where the murderer disposed of the body, and is shown the clues and leads the cops have established, which are entirely against him. The characters are always enticing, especially the motivations of Alice Reed, played by Joan Bennett, who witnessed the crime.

The film is an argument against generalizations in crime. In our justice system, we rely partly on the jury to judge the person to the alleged culprit, and like Lumet’s 12 Angry Men shows, it is not always right. The jury would not pick a fatherly-like proffesor like Richard Wanley to be convicted as a murderer; they would pick a young person with lots of energy and less than a reasonable doubt.

The film seams together its intricacies with tact and skill.