losing sleep over Se7en
Posted January 5, 2007on:
now that I remember it, no wonder i kept on hearing the prof referring to this movie way back when I took my Film Noir class at Cal. It’s noir to the teeth. And freaky. I lost sleep over it last night, not because of all the bodies shown, but because of the head. HEAD. Which was referred to but never shown.
*spoiler warning. Don’t read on if you want to watch it well.*
My first response to the horrific ending is “uh… plot-hole!” It was probably a coping mechanism talking. But the ending was really a plot hole though, something a calm and calculating criminal would not fail to notice. Take the last scene when all 3 of them were in the car, and Mills said “I thought you were just killing innocent people …” and John Doe went into a passionate rant about how each of his victims were truly vile sinners and each of their murder fits their sins… Up to that point, there had been 5 deaths – Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Pride, Lust. Sloth has a hole it it, because the victim was forced into slothfulness, not that he’s a sloth. But he was a criminal, so whatever. Then you get to the end, where Doe turns himself into Envy and Mills into Wrath, that’s just not working. There are 7 deaths by the end of the movie, but Mills, who is supposedly Wrath, is still alive. Mills’ wife is killed as a vehicle to turn Mills into Wrath – is that supposed to be Wrath’s punishment? Why is Wrath’s punishment so different from the other 6 deadly sins? (why isn’t Wrath deadly ??). And why is Mills’ wife killed in the first place, if Doe’s reasoning is that he is punishing the sinful ?
I’m not saying that the movie isn’t great. It is. Except, as in the case with many other works that invokes Christinity theme, it’s not doing a good job of interpreting Christian’s texts. The criminal’s interpretation of the sins are all wrong. He seems to be very very smart and clever, but his interpretation is shallow. For a man who supposedly has read Dante and Milton and how many other medieval works of literature, you’d think he has a better grip on the details of the 7 deadly sins than me. I guess my frustration is if you set up a brilliant psycho, then be consistent with the brilliance. Let him be consistently astute in most aspects then show him to have just one or two facts interpreted seriously twisted. In this case, the twist can come from his conviction that he is God’s instrument, that’s all. Let him be consistent in dispensing justice – punish the wicked and spare the innocent. When he didn’t kill Mills, I thought that bespeaks his character – he’s not taking the killing personal, he’s on a mission. Then why kill Mills’ wife, who is innocent? Sommerset got it right when he tells Mills that Doe is not Satan, he’s just a man. Same thing when Doe tells Mills “Does it make you more comfortable labeling me as crazy?” (not an exact quote). Come on, you say all that deep and profound stuffs, and then you throw all of them away to produce a shocking ending?
I don’t like sloppiness, heh. I did lose sleep over Se7en, but I don’t walk away from this film feeling any richer. Well, I don’t generally feel richer after watching a movie about murders anyway.
if you want to feel richer, try Together (“together with you” is the literal translation – He ni zai yi chi). “Dirty Pretty Things” is not bad neither, but it too has plot holes (as in, why just flush the heart down the toilet?? I mean if someone is dead due to an operation gone wrong, you either dispose the body whole or chop the whole thing up and throw away altogether, right? You don’t just toss the body into the trash and flush the heart down the toilet for better disposal practice. Or even if the entire body has been hacked up and flushed down the toilet, with the heart being the last thing, who has the time to neatly and surgically separate the organs like that if it has been established that the surgeon was incompetent and panicked during the operation?).
Towards the morning, I drifted into lala land and had a dream of us going to some high end bakery near College Ave. This store sells icecream, pastries, and some daily French cuisine specials for take out. Son and I found parking across the street and walked into the bakery. We ordered one serving of asparagus baked in some sort of cream sauce, then moved to the side of the bakery where they sell icecream and cookies (see diagram)
kitchen entrance __|______wall
_______________| icecream counter
hot food counter
For some reason, there was something going on where a kid was stealing food and eating it while the mother was not looking. Nobody saw the kid doing it except for me, but I didn’t say anything because I did not want to embarass the mother. The salesperson looked at me suspiciously, but I let it slide. For that, I think, Son got annoyed at how she just assumed I was the thief because I didn’t look highclass enough. Son was talking to the salesperson about knitting for a bit, and the bakery was getting ready to close. The salesperson put all the food away, leaving a small plate containing one scoop of icecream and 2 cookies – left over that she was going to eat before going home. As soon as she went into the kitchen to put the icecream tubs away, Son went straight to the left over plate and said something to the effect of “since she acted as if you were a thief, let’s humor her!” And motioned for me to start eating too. I was like “nuh uh, I’m not doing that!” Son shoved a bigass piece of icecream along with the rest of the cookies into his mouth in one bite, and, with his mouth still full, ran away saying “Come on, you better hurry up and leave too!” I was shocked to see Son behaving like that, so I didn’t leave. The salesperson came back and immediately noticed the empty plate. First she pretended to look for the food, but shortly afterward, she approached me and accused me of eating the food. I was very calm to her, but after a few more comments from her, I just walked over to the owner of the bakery (It turns out to be Alice Walter’s Cafe Fanny or something like that). I requested Alice Walter to come over and listen to what I had to say while the salesperson was there. I then launched into a speech about how I saw a little boy stealing cookies earlier, but didn’t say anything because I did not want the mother to be embarassed. He was not really stealing because he was too young to understand stealing, he just wanted to eat cookies. And just becauce I didn’t defend myself, it doesn’t mean that I am guilty when the staff gave me dirty looks. Then now, about this left over food thing…
Fatty cut my speech short and abruptly escorted me out of my strange dream.