Se7en ★★★★

Fincher's Seven is one of the classics of the 90s. Though I wouldn't say it holds up quite so perfectly after rewatches.

Films like Seven build themselves upon an audience who is unaware of what comes next. It prides itself on the final blow, a blow which doesn't hit so hard once you can see it coming. The performances are also nothing spectacular besides Pitt in the final few minutes. The character's don't seem to grow much depth besides our vital understanding that Pitt represents a naive idealism, and Freeman represents an aged cynicism. Though Kevin Spacey is fairly forgettable in his trope-like muted sociopath character, he at least does a decent job filling the role. The narrative itself is a little on the nose as well after more than one viewing.

But, what Seven excels at is mood and atmosphere. The attention to detail in the environment is breathtaking - the set designs of the labyrinths of seedy apartments as rain permanently pours outside is right on the note. The aforementioned juxtaposition between our two protagonists also creates a more subtle but vital backbone to the film. The ending with the Hemmingway "For Whom the Bell Tolls" quote, whilst it feels sort of underdeveloped and added on with short notice, it still rounds off the film in a bittersweet manner with a short shot of optimism.