Seven is a crime thriller movie that had been released on September 22nd 1995 from the studio new line cinema. The film is directed by David Fincher and written by Andre Kevin Walker. This movie uses two renowned actors to play as the main protagonists in this movie which are Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, as well as Kevin Spacey playing as the main antagonist in the story. Seven had been the seventh highest grossing movie in 1995 earning a total of 327.3 million worldwide. This movie was highly acclaimed by critics and currently has a rating 85% on rotten tomatoes. Seven is known for its use of seven deadly sins in its plot with each serial killing having a meaning behind it, this defined the crime genre by creating a serial killer with a motive juxtaposed from that of what is a commonly seen in other crime movies.
The crime genre usually uses the benevolent detective on a journey to find the main antagonist this genre has changed over time through the use of partnerships and serial killers used to make the genre even more appealing. Occasionally you get your average cop with the same motive but movie known to contain crime as a genre normally use detective/s as the main protagonists. The antagonist in these types of films are normally your typical sadistic serial killer that leaves a trail of bread crumbs in order for the protagonists to find and catch him.
Seven is set in modern day, based around serial killings that correspond to the seven deadly sins, gluttony, greed, sloth, envy, wrath, pride and lust. The experienced detective Lt William Somerset and the head strong semi experienced detective David Mills partner together to investigate these murders who improve on their partnership during the course of the movie With each killing the killer marks one of the deadly sins in the same area as the killing creating a meaning behind each killing rather than the cliché psychopath killing with no motive aside from enjoying it.
The headstrong semi experienced cop known for solving a range of homicides Mills is your typical young detective showing slight arrogance due to his inexperience. Mills has the average life of a detective with a wife and unborn child that he is unaware of. After pleading to go on the assignment for the serial killings Mills is warned about what he is getting into but is soon accepted on the investigation After being partnered with Somerset his evident inexperience is shown through out the course of the movie and shows a slight sense of a rebellious nature at times
The calm and collective experienced detective William Somerset plans his retirement due to his experience as a detective but this interrupted when the first set of serial killings occur. During his conversation about his retirement with the police captain Somerset warns the captain about not allowing Mills on this case as he feels he is not ready for a case of this magnitude but the captain reluctantly lets Mills on the case. Somerset at first has problems Mills and so we see tension between the two but later on the course of the movie we can see that the twos partnership grows
John Doe is the antagonist of this movie, for the majority of this movie his identity remains unknown until he turns himself in while in the police station. During the scene where all three main characters are driving towards the next location for another killing we can see John Doe’s envy of detective Mills claiming that his story will be remembered. The climax of the movie is where good vs. evil is tested as John Doe intentionally made himself a part of the seven sins serial killing, his envy of detective Mills lead him to murder his wife and unborn child. As Mills had been unaware of the unborn child Somerset warned Mills not to kill Doe as he ‘will win’, but Mills’ mixed emotions lead to him killing Doe
Tracy Mills played by Gwyneth Paltrow is the wife of detective Mills, she tells Somerset of the unborn child trusting that he would not tell Mills of the child as she was fearing what Mills will think. Police captain played by R Lee Ermey you typical police captain pleading Somerset to take the serial killing case as he is the only one who will be successful in solving a case as mysterious as this.
Cinematography – this movie uses a range of close ups of the characters during some emotional scenes during the movie e.g. the close up of Mills reaction to hearing what Doe had done to his wife and un born child, allot of two shots are used to express the partnership between Mills and Somerset, there are also low angle shots used to express the dominance of certain characters. Mise en scene/clothing – this film inflicts a dark noir feel to it this is done to reinforce the sadistic nature of the killings, from the clothing we at one point saw the blood on the shirt of John Doe this lets us know of his sadistic nature as he had been covered in the blood. Sound – the sound plays a big part in this movie with sound being amplified during the most shocking scenes e.g. walking through a passage way discovering a dead body using sound that is being amplified makes the discovery of the body even more shocking as we know something is coming but we don’t exactly know what.
La Confidential comes under the crime genre this movie is your cliché good cop bad cop detective movie as the two main detectives are trying to uncover the mystery behind the different crimes committed The departed is a change in your typical crime movie as there is no partnership between the two main cops instead they both have different morals, the go under cover in order to take down a mob boss The bone collector is another crime movie that subverts common conventions by using a woman as one of the main detectives for this movie but the story of the movie is simply to find the serial killer behind the murders that occur throughout the film
Seven typically has an antagonist that is a serial killer which is a convention of crime movies but due to the inclusion of the seven deadly sins is what makes this film subvert from common crime movies the serial killer creates a meaning behind each of the murders and he succeeds in the end. This movie also uses common mise en scene used in other crime movies the dark gritty feel to the movie. Also the characters both are neutral towards the investigation with similar which subverts the good cop bad cop type of characters in crime movies.
Detective Lt William Somerset being one of the detective is evidence of post colonialism, he is evidently the dominant cop due to his experience and so is trying to steer Mills in the right direction, Somerset also conforms to Fanons theory as his mind has ‘been emptied’ evidence of this would be how he has embarrassed the western culture and shows little of his own culture.
LA Confidential (defined LA Confidential is a typical genre) crime movie using the good Awards won – nominated cop bad cop stereotype as a for 9 academy awards recurring theme thorough the Budget – $35 million movie. Box office – $126,216,940 The bone collector is also a The bone collector common crime movie but Awards won – 0 with a twist by using a female Budget – $73 million as one of the main Box office - $151,493,655 protagonist The departed (re defined The departed follows some genre) conventions of a crime movie Awards won – but still is completely different Budget – $90 million due to the difference in story Box office - $289,847,354 from other crime movies
Angelina Jolie – typical moral cop subverting female stereotypes Russell Crowe – the cliché bad cop from la confidential Leonardo DiCaprio – rough and read undercover cop in the departed Denzel Washington – typical moral detective in bone collector Kevin Spacey – the sadistic serial killer subverting normal serial in seven
Martin Scorsese - directed the departed Phillip Noyce – directed the bone collector Curtis Hanson – directed la confidential
The departed – the departed is one film of the crime genre in which they took a different approach to towards the protagonists and antagonists both protagonists are cops working undercover but they are not working together, there aim is to take down a mob boss but over the course of the story we can see the mob boss getting into the heads of both detectives and we can see the affect this has on the both of them. As both detectives are unaware of each others secrets there is evident tension between the two as they both try to unravel each others secrets in order to remain undercover and not be discovered by the mob boss. La Confidential – la confidential is your cliché crime movie as the two main protagonists are polar opposites with the same good intentions, they are both working different investigations not knowing the two a connected and so go about their individual investigations differently in order to uncover the major threat in the story.
Regency enterprises – film and television production Universal pictures – an american company film studio one of the 6 most major movie studios Vertigo entertainment – smaller lesser known movie production company
In crime movies the stories are normally linear and follow a Todorov like approach, the introduction of the two main protagonists good cop and bad cop a range of serial killings that occur in which the protagonists have to investigate and finding and capturing the antagonists committing all the killings. There are normally always a good cop and a bad cop the bad cop having a darker approach to how he would solve the crime and the good cop who is a by the book cop who tends not to break any of the rules usually both cops intentions are pure but in some cases the bad cop ends up being the main antagonist. Depending on what type of cop movie the director wants to portray the era varies from modern day to 1950’s los Angeles. Normally the audience would expect a good cop and bad cop and psychopath killer who they have to stop, but over the years it is clear that crime films today take a range of different and unique approaches to the movie so subvert common conventions
Mise en Scene – normally in crime movies there is always a formal dress code it is rare it will ever be casual, most crime films have a city setting with the murders occurring in discreet areas Cinematography – establishing shots are used often so that we know the era of the story the film is set in, a rang of full body, long, mid and close ups are used either to get a view of the murder or to see the relationship between characters. Sound – dialogue between characters is often a crucial part for crime movies so that we can see the growth of partnerships and also understand the story better, non diagetic music is normally played to inflict different kinds of emotion suitable for the scene. Editing – there are normally a range of cuts used during chase scenes that often occur in crime movies, transitions are also commonly used in order to maintain the flow of the movie so that the audience doesnt lose interest.
Scorsese is a renowned director known for some of his greatest movies which include taxi driver, good fellas, casino, the departed and many more. He was born on November 17 1942 and was raised in the neighbourhood of little Italy which evidently served as inspiration for some of his movies. He is hailed as one of the most significant and influential filmmakers of all time. His works often portrayed roman catholic concepts of guilt and redemption and modern crime which makes him highley significant in crime based movies. He has had a big influence on the crime genre directing films which had changed how a crime film usually is to create a unique and enticing take on an average crime movie.
It is clear that the crime genre has drastically changed over time and so i feel that this genre is likely heading into a direction where sub genres will arise from the crime genre due to the range of different crime movies today.