Sin. It is everywhere, and everyone is doing it, and no one cares.

New York City is the inferno, and John Doe (Kevin Spacey) is intent on eradicating the deadly sins that plague it. Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and Mills (Brad Pitt) descend through the levels of hell, chasing their prey. The climax in the Ninth Circle of Hell – Treachery – provides a devastating twist.

Se7en is an intense, disturbing, bleak, thrilling film. It is dark, and hopeless, and unrelenting. The cinematography portrays the city as dirty and horrifying, reveling in excess and filth. Despite that, it also manages to elicit a sense of life and soul. Despite the oppressive atmosphere, there is some hope to be found.

Somerset and Mills are the perfect antithesis of each other. Where Somerset is pessimistic and defeated, Mills is hopeful and enthusiastic. Somerset sees only darkness in the world, and is incapable of believing that there is an end to it. Mills refuses to submit to the wickedness that lurks in each shadow, unwilling to allow it victory. Pitt and Freeman portray their characters well and their chemistry – rooted in their differences – is contagious.

Kevin Spacey is downright disturbing as John Doe. Though the character does not occupy much screen time, those few moments are captivating and chilling. The anonymity of the character, the fact that he could literally be anyone, is horrifying in its own right.

Se7en is a film that one could view multiple times, and come away with something different each time. The correlation to Dante’s Inferno is intriguing, and it’s interesting to see the deadly sins manifest in Somerset and Mills themselves.

In a literal sea of crime thrillers, Se7en’s unique qualities set it far and above its peers.

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