Director: David Fincher
Cast: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey
Released: September 22, 1995
Best Film Editing (lost to Apollo 13)
We're going to begin this with a little poetry reading! I wrote this when I was in college when I took a poetry class. I should preface this by saying while I love reading and writing, I hate poetry. I hate reading it and I hate writing it! However, just for kicks I did keep some of my (terrible) poems I wrote for that class and this one is specific to the movie I'm reviewing.
The lustful are the ones with sexual desire,
Fetishes, pleasures of the body,
Giving in to their every urge.
The gluttons are the ones tempted by food,
Filling their flabby tummies with sugar and lard,
Indulging in fried chicken grease.
The slothful are the ones who are lazy.
Slumbering, avoiding work,
Sluggish, careful not to exert themselves.
The greedy are the ones selfish with money.
Steal from the rich, take from the poor,
Refusing to give to charities, it’s all theirs.
The wrathful are the ones who are angry:
At others, at themselves, at God.
Full of rage, unhappy at the world.
The envious are the ones who are jealous,
Always craving what they can’t have,
Longing for other’s abilities.
The prideful are the ones full of haughty behavior,
Boastful in their achievements,
Overtaken by arrogance and vanity.
That's actually one of my better poems, so be thankful for that! I can't remember if we were supposed to write a poem about the Seven Deadly Sins or if I just chose it randomly. I copied and pasted that from my LiveJournal, so that's why it looks so weird.
Seven (I'm not writing Se7en throughout this!) is similar to an arc you would see on a show like CSI or Bones (in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they did have an arc like this on CSI) but just with bigger names, more cursing, and a little more (but not that much more) gruesome deaths. I had never seen this movie before, but I was well aware of the big spoiler at the end. (Don't worry, I will post a spoiler warning before I discuss it in case there are people aren't there who don't know about it).
Detective Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and Detective Mills (Brad Pitt) are investigating a series of murders that they soon realize are motivated by the Seven Deadly Sins. The first murder they come across in this series is an obese man who was forced to scarf down food until his stomach exploded. This is literally something you would see on an episode of CSI; in fact, I'm sure they did a storyline about this (the show was on for, like, twelve years and they had about four spin-offs, they've done an episode about everything you can think of!) They don't get the Seven Deadly Sins connection until the second murder which has taken the life of a defense attorney and "Greed" is written in blood in his office. When they go back to the scene of the crime of the first murdered man, they move the refrigerator and see that "Gluttony" is written in grease underneath it. (Now why would the murdered hide that? I guess he was playing mind games with them). Throughout the series of murders, the killer will write down the sin in case they don't know which one it is.
The most gruesome death was the man depicting sloth. He was chained to a bed and literally rotting away. Actually, he wasn't even dead even though everyone thought he was. I'm not even sure how he was still alive. Even though his death (he did eventually die later because there's no way he would be able to live and had swallowed his own tongue so he would't have been able to talk anyway) was the worst (well, there actually might be a death that was worse than this now that I think about it!), it was hard to feel bad for this man because he was either a child molester or a rapist or maybe both, I don't remember. Either way, whatever, he can die a horrible death.
Somerset does some research at the library, checking out Dante's The Divine Comedy and Chaucer's The Cantebury Tales among material to read up on The Seven Deadly Sins. Hey! I wonder if there's a BuzzFeed quiz out there asking Which Seven Deadly Sin are you? I'm going to check! Guess what? There's a lot of "Which Deadly Sin Are You/Which Deadly Sin Do You Represent? quizzes out there. I took the first one and my result is....drumroll please....ENVY! Oooh! Eh, sounds about right! Here's the link if you want to take the quiz: MagiQuiz
Okay, wtf? I just took the BuzzFeed quiz, Which Deadly Sin Are You? and I got Wrath! Huh? I get the Envy one, but how did I get Wrath? I just answered the question honestly! Let me give you a few examples:
- They asked me which social media site I was last one and I chose Twitter. How does that make me Wrath?
-They asked me what was my choice of drink and gave me a bunch of alcoholic beverages and water and I chose water because I really hardly ever drink unless I'm in a social setting. How does that make me Wrath?
-They asked me to choose a dog and had a bunch of different breeds and you could also choose cat and I chose cat because I have a cat! How does that make me Wrath?
There is literally no answer on that quiz that should have made me Wrath. I mean, I CAN get angry pretty easily, but I blame it on my red hair. We are quick to anger and have a fiery temper sometimes! But none of those questions really gave any evidence to that. In fact, judging from that quiz, I have no idea which Seven Deadly Sin I would be. At least the Magiquiz had questions and answers that made more sense to which of the Seven Deadly Sins one would be. Here's a link to the BuzzFeed quiz so you can how ridiculous it it: BuzzFeed Quiz
OMG! I just took another quiz and this time I got Greed! What is going on here? I am answering these questions honestly, but yet I have gotten three different sins from three different quizzes! And some of these questions even overlap! Am I Envy, Wrath, and Greed rolled into one? I mean, at least I'm not...uh, what's the worst one? Pride? No, probably Wrath and Greed are the worst! But I thought Greed was good! I'm surprised I didn't get Sloth because I can be pretty lazy at times! Or maybe unmotivated is the better word. Why do you think it's been awhile since I last updated this blog? I bet if I took another one of these quizzes, I would get Soth! But I'm not taking anymore! Anyway, here's that quiz if you want to take all three quizzes and see if you got three different results just like I did! Playbuzz Quiz
Okay, back to the review. Remember how I said the Sloth guy got the worst death? No, I think it was the prostitute killed by Lust. Killed by Lust, how can that be so bad, you ask? Uh...it's bad if it involves a strap-on that's a blade. Yeah. :::cringes:::: Oh, no. That's so....eugh. I'm glad we didn't see a close up of her. The guy who did it to her said the killer had a gun to his head and made him do it. The fifth murder is a model who represents Pride and she was given the option to be call for help, but have her face mutilated or to overdose on pills and kill herself.
I should mention while this is going on, we meet Mill's wife, Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow) and she confides in Somerset that the's pregnant. (She tells him because she doesn't have anyone else to talk to because she and Mills just moved to New York). Why she can't tell her own husband she's unhappy living in the city and doesn't want to raise a child there, I don't know. Or maybe they do tell us and I just forgot.
They do manage to find their John Doe (Kevin Spacey, whose name isn't in the credits until the end) but rather he comes to them. He has just cut off all fingerprints so there is blood everywhere. Not to mention he's committed another murder. Now if you're keeping score at home, we still have two more murders to get though: Envy and Wrath (the ones I represent, apparently!) Now, knowing what was to come, I already knew what would by the Envy death, but I wasn't sure about Wrath. I mean, aren't all deaths Wrath if you think about it? Unless he kills another serial killer. I wasn't sure where the Wrath murder would fit into all of this. Doe tells the two detectives that he'll lead them to the last two victims and will confess to the murders. He has very specific terms on how he will do this and if they don't oblige by his rules, he will plead insanity. Even though Somerset and Mills are wary of this, they agree to do it, which seems a little ridiuclous they are letting a serial killer get his way, but whatever. He directs them to drive to some abandoned house in the middle of nowhere where presumably the last two victims are. While driving there, Mills (who totally represents Wrath as he is super quick to anger) gets into it with John Doe who's just goading him. Um, stop talking to him, Mills! Don't you see he wants to get under your skin?
Okay, this is probably the best time to stop reading if you don't want to be spoiled because I will be going into spoiler territory now. SPOILERS AHOY! STOP READING NOW IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED! BECAUSE A HUGE SPOILER IS COMING UP! I HAVE WARNED YOU!!!!!
Okay. I feel like 99% of people are already aware of what I'm talking about, even if you have never seen this movie, but you can never be too sure. When they get to the abandoned house, they see a truck coming their way. Thinking its motives are malicious, Mills keeps his gun pointed on John Doe while Somerset keeps his eye on the truck and makes the driver get out with his hands up. The driver is a deliveryman who was told to deliver a box to this location at seven o'clock (and just a few moments earlier, John Doe had asked Somerset what time it was). Now if I wasn't already spoiled and knew what was in the box, I would have thought it was a bomb. I mean, this was during the time of the Unibomber. I'm surprised Somerset opened the box willy-nilly without consulting a bomb squad. He notices there's blood on one of the flaps and when he looks inside, he jumps back in shock. Now I'm sure if I had no idea what was in the box, the next scene would have much more of an effect on me and I would have had a "Holy Sh!t!" reaction. Mills still has his gun on John Doe and is asking, "What's in the box? What's in the box" which of course is one of those iconic movie lines. John Doe is very calm in telling him that he was envious of him and paid his wife a visit and that he took a souvenir with him and that her "pretty little head" is in the box. I was sure we were going to see a gruesome prosthetic Gwynnie-the-Pooh head, but luckily we don't. I don't think even Mills looks in the box, which is probably for the best. No reason to upset him even more especially after learning that Tracy was pregnant.
The Wrath killing all makes sense when John Doe turns the tables on Mills and wants Mills to kill him and represent Wrath. By this time, Somerset is running to him, telling him not to do it, that this is what the murderer wants, but Mills, having nothing to lose (and would totally get Wrath if he took those quizzes if they existed back in 1995), kills his wife's murderer. Can you blame the guy?