Go to Homepage   Seven: Metaphysical Midnight

  Crescent Blues Book Views

r rated, four moon iconWarner Home Video (DVD), ASIN: B000050FEN
Rarely do religion and forensics dance together like perfect ballet partners, yet Seven begins where other noir visions end. Picture a glutton forced to implode from overeating his favorite dish (Sin 1). Then imagine a slothful man tied to his bed for an entire year (Sin 3). This psychopathic sermon on the Seven Deadly Sins will send the squeamish running for copies of Bambi and Lassie, Come Home! Fans who seek dramatic intensity, though, will relish the masterful direction of David Fincher, also famous for Fight Club.

DVD: sevenAs the story's veteran police detective, Morgan Freeman pursues madness itself, brilliantly bridging a chasm between faith and despair. Doomed to retire just as he intuits the logic of a serial killer, this character seems rescued by a mission to put evil out of commission. Scenes filmed in libraries, where he traces the grand themes of Milton and Dante, lead viewers directly through the process of nothing less than a mind-chase. In the midst of horror, Freeman's dignity triumphs repeatedly like a dove floating on air.

The perfect foil to Freeman's holy stewardship, Brad Pitt rages in bursts of uncontrolled emotion. This younger partner dashes headlong where even policemen's angels would never venture. An odd couple indeed, this pair becomes as emotionally bonded to each other as they do to the religious zealot they follow from hallowed halls to rain-soaked alleys. Their ultimate enemy becomes not just a madman but utter futility -- an omnipresence reflected in drenching weather and blue-black colors.

Attempting to facilitate their working relationship, Pitt's wife (Gwyneth Paltrow) shines as the successful go-between, with secrets of her own too precious to share.

At the heart of their quest lies the demonology of a sanctimonious Angel of Death. In this role, Kevin Spacey knows no peers. His fondness for great literature almost makes one wish poets kept their greatest compositions locked in their desk drawers. How one small man balloons on fantasy serves as the central action of this nightmare gone public. Like a shadow, he leaps from wall to wall among urban tenements. Like a ghost, he taunts those who now know his mind better than their own.

Maximizing the tension among all four characters, Fincher builds a psychological thriller without a single missing link. This film dares us to remember that, according to Milton, Satan specializes in turning the best traits of heroes against them. Furthermore, its writers tell the truth: Milton and Dante, right along with Aquinas, knew the landscapes of Evil like the palms of their own hands. In addition, of course, they were intimately acquainted with Hope, which runs out here. Released in 2001, the DVD of Seven will satisfy every viewer seeking cinematic perfection -- so long as s/he possesses a cast iron stomach. Finally, its music by Howard Shore defies description. Meshing sighs, groans, horns, symphonic orchestration, and even shimmering light, it earns four crescents all by itself!

Meg Curtis

Click here to share your views.