With a movie like Se7en, there’s so much you can talk about. In lieu of starting his own ministry, an enigmatic serial killer named John Doe (this is significant) begins murdering people as retribution for violating the seven deadly sins: Gluttony, Greed, Wrath, Sloth, Envy, Lust, and Pride. On some basic level, Se7en is a morality play inspired by the medieval literature and adapted darkly to modern times.
Andrew Kevin Walker indulges his serial killer and main antagonist as a kind of anti-hero. His absolute loathing for main protagonist, David Mills, as a wannabe super-cop who grew up on too many cop flicks is apparent throughout his interplay with Morgan Freeman’s character Detective Somerset. Somerset questions Mills motives throughout the film and, even as they develop a tenuous friendship, Mills naivete manages to disappoint Somerset throughout the plot’s development. By contrast, Somerset is careful, measured, rationale, and thoughtful while Mills is prone to outbursts, vacuous, and more interested in his image than the work his job requires.
Perhaps Mills’ most iconic moment is when he speaks to an imaginary audience: “Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a homicide.”
Perhaps Walker’s greatest achievement is setting up the Mills character to be destroyed by John Doe; but it’s how he does it that makes Sev7n one of the best pieces of religious horror of all time. Much like the characters in the medieval morality plays, Mills becomes wrath.
Se7en is a perfect screenplay, perfectly executed by David Fincher. Pitt does a perfect job playing the vapid starstruck echo of Serpico and Morgan Freeman is brilliant as always. Se7en is a masterpiece and that sloth scene will haunt my dreams forever.