Saturday, June 18, 2011


How are you supposed to say that?

"Se-Seven-en?", or do I just say "Seven" and pretend to have read it that way, ( the way one sometimes does).

I don't like what happened with the title of this: it reminds me of T-shirts that 'swear-without-swearing': they're not very clever or funny and the per5on we4ring the T-5h1rt L00ks L1ke 4 b1t 0F 4N 455-WH1PE,
and a 'V' doesn't look like a '7' : it's pointing in the wrong direction by about a hundred degrees or so,— it's like replacing a 'Z' with an 'N' , or an 'M' with the letter '3'.

I don't like it.

I first saw this a million years ago 'in the cinna-mar' and I remember that I didn't think much of it at the time. I don't believe I noticed the spelling of the title then, or perhaps I did and paid no mind, ( I was less curmudgeonly then you see,).

I saw it again recently and despite the great plot, the great acting, the great tension and the great set-design, I didn't like it. Not a bit, and it's hard to explain what I found so unsatisfying.

Well there's at least one thing, that I don't suppose is anyone's fault, but it ruins a modern viewing of the fillum: and that's that I recognise Kevin Spacey's voice immediately. —It's just a familiarity thing, I've seen ( or rather heard ) so much of him since this came out, he talks a lot in The Usual Suspects and quite a lot indeed in American Beauty and I know what he sounds like, a mile away.

The other thing I hate about it is the excellent set-design. What's to hate about something being excellent? Well as Peter Griffin said of The Godfather...

"It just insists upon itself".

This film is so very carefully and absolutely 'Noir' that it undermines what the actors and the plot are trying to do, i.e. get us to care about the characters. The careful colour-palette for each shot, the artificial attempt to portray the setting in a 'nameless' city, in a 'dateless' era, the trenchcoats and trilbys... I felt that the depiction of what we should feel are actual 'real' people in 'real' danger was shouted down at every turn by 'Style','Style','Style' : so much style that nothing looks real and I don't care about anybody.

So 'Se7en': well-acted, well-written, great music, great story but the look of it lets it down, for me.

Like the title, it just seemed a tad o7er-contri7ed.

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