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Drama - Police

Seven (1995)

Duration2h 07m
RatingsUK: 18, USA: R, Denmark: 16 
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorDavid Fincher
Writers/ScriptAndrew Kevin Walker
StarringMorgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Emery, Richard Roundtree, Kevin Spacey, 
RatingsIMDb: 8.6/10 by 1,531,428 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 82% by 82 reviewers. Review2view: 8/10

Elevator Pitch: Veteran detective William Somerset, on the verge of retirement, and his replacement, young and ambitious David Mills are forced into partnership by a series of gruesome murders symbolising the seven deadly sins, the victims forced into fulfilling the sins of gluttony, greed, sloth, pride and lust. Mills’s wife Tracy, needing someone to talk to in a city to which she has just moved discusses things with Somerset. With two sins to go the murderer, calling himself John Doe, gives himself up and persuades Mills and Somerset to take him out into the desert where he says they will find “Envy” and “Rage”.

Content: No sex, and just one naked male body seen during an autopsy. Mills spends a bit of time with his wife in their apartment which vibrates as trains pass. He and Somerset bicker in their office in the police station.  The unnamed city is bleak and grim and it never stops raining. Each of the murders is gruesome and show signs of long term planning, often requiring much ingenuity on the parts of the detectives to get from one to the next.  When they get to the murderer’s flat much is revealed.

A View: This was a well known film in its day, but I had not seen it, so on first viewing it was rivetting. It is No 20 on the IMDb best films list, which is saying something. There is a downside. The villain manages to achieve organisation which would tax a single human beyond their capabilities, and the end is controversial, although once I had read up on it, found that it worked. The producers had wanted to change it, but maybe it is appropriate. So definitely still a watch, but be prepared to be distressed.

If you have a taste for unsettling police dramas here are a trio of possibilities which have been reviewed on this site: Prisoners, Copycat, On Frozen Ground

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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