Seven, as in the Seven Deadly Sins that the perverted, tragically and incredibly intelligent murderer inflicts upon his victims in their dying moments. This film is not for those with weak stomachs. It is excessively graphic and emotionally disturbing. But if you manage to move beyond the immediate horror and reach the level of reflection you will find a well-made film that raises some basic moral and philosophical questions.
Somerset (Morgan Freeman) is a lonely, sad-eyed, soon-to-retire cop. One day he meets Mills (Brad Pitt), an eager young cop who, in what Somerset can only explain as temporary insanity, asks to be transferred to Somerset’s district. Together they work on a brutal and revolting murder case, in which an obese man was forced to eat himself to death. Soon they learn that gluttony was only the first sin they had to deal with. Greed, sloth, lust, and three more deadly sins follow suit. The men and women who are killed are evidently punished for their sins by a man who took it upon himself to be their judge. The only pure and hopeful source of light in the film comes from Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow), Mill’s wife, who is yet to serve the most crucial role of all in this nerve wrecking thriller.
Through a literary, religious, and philosophical exploration of Milton, Dante, Chaucer, and more, our two cops embark on a futile pursuit against evil. Disturbingly, we learn just how harmful intellect and knowledge can be in the hands of the wrong man. The murderer (actor and character) is left completely anonymous until the last half hour of the film, which in some respect seems to tease with our sense of knowledge, as if to point to how much we do not know as well as how insignificant is what we do know.
In the end this film is shocking, disturbing, at times even disgusting. At the same time it is well done, and it keeps the viewers in constant suspense to the very last moment; that is ff you can bear to watch the truly dark side of humanity.