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Se7en textual analysis

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This is my textual analysis of the devices used in the film 'Se7en'

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Se7en textual analysis

  1. 1. Se7en Textual Analysis By Brantley Steer
  2. 2. Mise-en-scene In Se7en, there are a fairly high amount of props, costumes and ornamental pieces that aim to put across certain points about the story within the film. For example, near to the beginning of the film, a shot is shown of Morgan freeman, starting a metronome ticking. This infers that Morgan Freeman's character is rather old fashioned, because metronomes are a somewhat old fashioned ornament or device. It also suggests that Freeman's character could be a sort of musician, as a metronome is a device commonly used by musicians that marks time at a selected rate. Furthermore, the fact that Freeman's character starts the metronome ticking before he goes to bed, could symbolize loneliness, and that he uses the metronome as a sense of company and that someone is there. Another example of mise-en-scene, is near the beginning of se7en. In a building, blood splats are shown on a blind or curtain, this infers that some sort of death or violence has happened in the scene.
  3. 3. Camera angles/shots/movement Throughout Se7en, many camera angles, shots and movements are used to put across details about characters and also to give a brief insight into the nature of the situations within the film. For example, at the beginning of seven, a shot is shown of Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt walking down a street next to each other. The two are shown in a low angle shot which may have been used to show that they are powerful because they are detectives and to show there authority. Brad Pitt is shown bumping into several people as he walks down the street, whereas Morgan Freeman is shown walking in-between them with ease. This could suggest that brad pit is inexperienced and perhaps hasn't been to the city in which it is set beforehand. It also emphasizes the fact that Morgan Freeman has been doing his job a long time and shows his experience in both his profession and in the city. Another shot used is near the beginning of Se7en. A wide angle shot is shown of Morgan Freeman laid in bed on his own, showing his surroundings. The house looks very neat and organized, which infers that Freeman's character is an organized person, which could relate to his profession of being a detective. Also, the fact that Freeman is alone in this shot in a double bed, could represent his loneliness and that he perhaps once had a partner but he has lost her/him.
  4. 4. Sound Throughout Se7en, a variety of sound is used including diegetic sound and non diegetic sound. These are used to add emphasis to certain elements of the film and express key points in the story and also add hints to the viewer about what may potentially happen later in the film. For example, during the opening credits, a very distorted and unsettled song is played. This could be a symbol of the distorted and unsettled mind of the criminal in the film. This could also link to the killing at the beginning of the film when the blood splats were shown. This music could show that the person who has performed this murder, and perhaps others is psychotic and has a distorted view and a distorted mind, causing him to do these things. Another sound used, is the ticking of a metronome in a scene where Morgan Freeman lays alone in bed. This sound could be a symbol of the passing of time and potentially implies that Morgan Freeman's character in the film is getting old and emphasizes how long he has been in his profession.
  5. 5. Editing Throughout Se7en, several editing techniques are used to give a brief insight into a characters background, thoughts and perhaps briefly hint to the audience what will happen later on in the film and also the nature of these actions. During the opening sequence, editing is used to distort the images and cut between scenes. This could be used to emphasize the distorted mind of the criminal and perhaps infer that the criminal is not thinking straight. This could also be used to give the audience an idea of the nature of the criminal and also the lifestyle of them. Editing is also used during the opening credits, where the font of the writing is somewhat 'spooky' and is used to create an eerie theme and also give a brief insight into the story and allow the viewer to acknowledge the genre and what could potentially happen in the film.

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