I believe Se7en deserves another look. Though nine years old, I believe it is worth revisiting.
First, a quick refresher course. As you might know, Se7en stars Morgan Freemen, Brad Pitt, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Brad Pitt is new to the murder investigation beat, and his older, wiser partner Morgan Freeman is about to retire. Right after he is hired there is a murder of an exceptionally obese man. Soon after, they find a dead defense attorney. The defense attorney has on his floor, written in blood, the word “greed.” They than discover in a back room of of the obese man’s house, written in grease, the word “gluttony.”
This all leads to the discovery that someone is a killing a person for each one of the seven deadly sins to make a point. Since Morgan Freeman is departing soon, to leave Brad Pitt as his successor, he goes to do some research on the seven deadly sins for Brad. He finds a few books, checks them out, writes some notes, and gives them to Brad. He needs help reading through them and gets some help from Morgan, who is glad to help.
We immediately learn two key facts: One is that Brad has a wife, Gwyneth Paltrow. She is kind to Morgan even though Brad isn’t. The other is discovered when Brad and Morgan go to see the wife of the dead defense attorney to see if she notices anything out of place. Yes, she does: There is an upside down picture. They go and discover that under it are hand prints. They do a search and find the man’s address. They get there and discover the owner of the apartment is missing a hand. He had been tortured and was barely hanging on to life.
After leaving they pay a man from the FBI to find who has checked out books on the subject of the seven deadly sins. They go to his house, find him, Brad pursues, doesn’t catch him, and gets himself hurt.
Cut to the next scene. Gwyneth wants to meet with Morgan. She says she is pregnant. He tells her to talk to her husband.
Two more murders immediately follow. At which point the murderer turns himself in, saying that he will plead guilty without claiming insanity or bargaining down his sentence if the two detectives will drive him to show them the body.
Now this is where the real spoilers come in, but since this is serving only as a refresher course, and you’ve had nine years to see the movie, I’ll reveal the part that is most thought provoking. After getting there a man drives up in a car and delivers a box. Morgan opens it, and sees it is Brad’s pregnant wife. Dead. That’s six deaths. The man tells Brad that his pregnant wife is dead: “Oh, you didn’t know.” He is, duh, angry. The man tells him to kill him and fulfill the seventh death. He thinks about it, then shoots him. We see him being arrested later.
This is the part that deserves a dust off and another look. Besides being an ingenious turn of plot by the author and being a deeply dissatisfying ending, what is there to it? Do you consider it realistic? What would you have done? The obvious thing that came to my mind was this: Why didn’t he just hit him? It hurts more for a longer time and he wouldn’t have had to kill him. I believe things such as this that consider the human psyche are well worth revisiting for a bit of pondering every once in a blue moon.