Seven, The movie
“Ernest Hemmingway once wrote, ‘the world is a fine place and worth fighting for,’ I agree with the second part.” The movie Seven ends with that quote stated by Somerset, attempting to justify the many moral dilemmas touched upon by the movie but mainly to bring the character of Somerset and the audience back to the beginning. The symmetry of the characters that the quote creates between the beginning of the movie and the end would have been lost if the director David Fincher would have gone with the original storyboard ending.
The beginning sequence does a great deal in showing the audience the personality of the two main characters. It fades in to Somerset’s apartment where we see a medium-long shot of Somerset over the sink. He is not yet ready for work. It cuts to a medium shot of him looking in a mirror, adjusting his tie and collar very meticulously and yet as if he has done this many a time before. The camera shoots the dresser top where Somerset’s personal items (keys, badge, pen, eyeglass case) are set, side-by-side, in order of their importance, in which he picks them up one by one. The camera cuts to the bed, neatly made, where his suit coat lies, precisely placed. He picks a piece of lint we cannot really see off of the coat before putting it on. Somerset has said nothing in this scene and yet we have already deciphered the type of person he is: a very neat, well-organized, meticulous person whose life seems to evolve around routine.
With Somerset turning off his lamp, it fades into the darkness of the next scene, focusing on the large man lying face down on the floor dead. It cuts to a long shot of Somerset slowly walking away from the light, looking around the room and stopping to notice what was on the refrigerator. When Somerset asks the other cop if the child saw the crime, the cop rudely replies,
What kind of fucking question is that? You know, we’re all gonna be real glad when we get rid of you, Somerset. You know that? It’s always these questions with you. ‘Did the kid see it?’ Who gives a fuck? He’s dead. His wife killed him. Anything else has nothing to do with us.
This quote does two important things for the character of Somerset. First, it verifies our ideals of Somerset from the previous scene. His eye for detail entails us to conclude that he is a very skilled detective. It also shows that he is quite different from the cop in that he expresses compassion for the victim and his family.
Right before the entrance of Mills, the camera shoots a long shot of the cop on the far left, looking at the stairs as Mills comes up them. This gives the impression of Mills rising in his career, maybe taking over Somerset’s position eventually. Mills looks quite different from Somerset, more noticeably in his attire. He looks young and somewhat disheveled, not wearing a suit coat but a black leather jacket. As Mills introduces himself to Somerset, he is chewing with his mouth...