Blindspot 2017: Seven (1995)

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Plot: Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi.

Rating: 8.5/10

Set in a dark and dreary city, homicide detectives Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt must investigate what is turning into a serial killer’s mad spree through town, emulating the 7 deadly sins in the most horrific of ways. Detective Freeman is retiring and after years of witnessing the horrors a decaying city can provide, he’s not too keen about taking up another job. But he somehow can’t pull away – he’s forced to worked with the new young detective and solve this last crime.

I enjoyed how dark and dreary the city was. The constant torrential downpour makes England look like a sunny palace. It’s so heavy, and combined with the decay of the city a sense of hopelessness lies in the air.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s character is a sharp contrast to the city. She’s everything the city isn’t – fresh and sweet and kind. I really liked her, how she balanced her husband out and wasn’t everywhere in the story and somehow remained so important in it.

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A thing that stands out sharply is the difference between the two detectives. Both are good men but so much difference in character. The younger detective is impulsive, perhaps because of his age. He’s by no means unintelligent but is far less cerebral than his older counterpart, who is often reflective and studies the crime and reasoning behind it well. The dynamic between the detectives shift – initially Freeman is cold shouldering his colleague (I think mostly due to impending retirement) but he begins to warm to Pitt with the case developing.

What is it about Kevin Spacey that he is so well capable to play such derange characters? It is creepy. He is creepy. So calm with an underlying menace. Madness coated in quiet demeanor. That flat of his. His belief in his work. A subtle creep. Sheesh.

How intense was the ending?! Edge of your seat business. John Doe concocted everything to make his plan infallible. I was horrified and entertained, because sheesh, what a nail biter.

Serial killers always have this dark glamour about them. It is wrong, but I have been interested in their mind games for years now – how they justify, what motivates them and how carefully they pick their victims. Seven is a film that follows one such killer in his demented ways in the best method I’ve ever seen. The film is backed by solid performances, directing, score and story to bring a thriller that will remain with you well after the end.

If you are looking for a film that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy, Seven is definitely NOT for you. It is scary and gross and relentless and keeps you nailed to your seat, but come prepared because scary man. Scary.

 

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Book review: The Obsession (Nora Roberts)

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Plot: (not included – I literally couldn’t find one that didn’t spoil the entire book!)

Rating: 8/10

So I gave in to my obsession (hehe) and bought this book in a world where books have become so expensive I’m not that surprised that people aren’t reading anymore. It was worth the cost and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Roberts seemed uniquely inspired in The Obsession, because let’s face it, the woman recycles her stories. The outright creepiness of this story was a brilliant way to go, because it is something that we always witness in the news but it remains so shocking and terrifying. It pleased me to no end that Naomi and her brother were raised by her gay uncle and his partner, that they weren’t portrayed as extravagant or stereotypical – they were the best thing that happened to Naomi and her brother, and that their sexuality was merely a characteristic and not an insult, which is something a lot of authors get horribly wrong.

The development of the book is great. Nora Roberts has a talent when it comes to describe certain phases of her character’s life, providing in-depth insight to a character. I liked the following of Naomi’s discovery, her adaption to her new life and the eventual present day for her, where she has to ultimately fight the demons of her past. It was really good. I had some issues with the end – not that it wasn’t satisfactory, but I couldn’t understand how a four hundred page book had it’s final scenes within twenty pages. My other (only) major complaint is that it is becoming clear that a Roberts book only properly develops until the first sex scene. It feels disloyal to say this from one of my favorite authors, but we get a fantastic villain, great character development and gorgeous scenery, until the first sex scene and then all we get is steamy showers with a final rushed ending. It deducts from the impact from the book.

If it sounds like I didn’t enjoy the book, that’s wrong, because I had the best time. The characters are great and I laughed so much with the prototype male the hero was – who couldn’t just love that? I also really loved the dog, and wanted to pet and adopt all the dogs in the world.

This mammoth book was one of my latest favorites from Roberts – there is a sense of refreshed uniqueness that she’s been missing. It ticks all the boxes, except perhaps the rushed end. It is a definite for fans, and she might even get a couple of new fans from this!