“Se7en”

seven“This is beginning.”

I can’t really say what prompted me to revisit “Se7en” again (because it’s such a depressing story) but the film came up in the news recently due to its 20th anniversary and being recognized by its peers as one of Hollywood’s 100 Favorite Films of all time.

For the most part, it was just as I remember it and “Se7en” is a flawless film that stands the test of time.

It has been long enough since I watched the film that a few of the scenes presented their original fear factor for me. Spoiler alert – the sloth victim is not dead!

Also, according to ShortList’s 30 Facts about “Se7en,” he has three arms.

As the story plays out the first case for David Mills (Brad Pitt) at a fictional city homicide department and the last for William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) their dialogue is a reminder of how heartbreaking the ensuing events are for both characters.

Some of Mills’ one-liners provide a little comic relief  — “Ladies and gentleman, we have ourselves a homicide ” — but it’s no question David Fincher and his team were set on keeping the story as a dark, sad and suspenseful thriller.

Perhaps Somerset says it best with, “This isn’t going to have a happy ending.”

But Fincher, Pitt and Freeman wanted to keep it that way. The studio pushed for a different ending after some test screenings, to no avail, because Pitt and Freeman refused to promote the film if that happened.

I can’t imagine “Se7en” without Pitt and Freeman as the detective duo but that could have happened, too. William Hurt and Al Pacino were in line for Freeman’s role while Denzel Washington and Sylvester Stallone passed on the part of Mills.

I’ll stop with this wormhole of facts about “Se7en,” but what I learned just shows the amount of heart and work it takes to keep the creativity and purpose of a project intact in Hollywood — especially one everyone involved knows is going to be dark and hard to watch.

That is why “Se7en” holds up after 20 years and you should — brace yourself — and watch it again.

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