Seven

Question: I'm confused by how Victor (the Sloth victim) managed to "survive" an entire year of being tied to his own bed. Even if he had an IV keeping him alive, surely he would have died after a few months, even weeks? Also, how did no one notice him missing when he was trapped in a populated apartment? Surely someone would have noticed his absence; he was an infamous drug-dealer after all.

Chosen answer: Laying in bed for a prolonged amount of time would cause serious damage, yes, but John Doe likely moved him around, changing beds etc. (nurses do this with comatose patients in hospitals). As for why no one noticed him missing...well, he was a drug dealer. Most people wouldn't accustom themselves with such a person in the first place and even if someone did notice him gone, opening their mouths could risk them getting caught by the police. Also, it was stated by a police officer that landlord said there was no reason to be concerned. His rent was always paid in full, on time. As far as Victor dealing drugs; junkies aren't concerned with their dealers. If one doesn't answer the phone, they move on down the list. It's Manhattan. Drug dealers and junkies disappear everyday.

Dra9onBorn117

Question: What happened at the crime scene at the start of the film when Somerset asks the other police officer if the victim had kids? (Before Somerset meets Mills).

TRENCH117

Chosen answer: A woman shot her husband. The other detective on the scene says to Somerset, "he's dead, his wife killed him."

jshy7979

Question: I know this question is somewhat subjective, due to unknowns such as location, but can anyone hazard a guess as to what kind of punishment/sentence Pitt would be likely to get after shooting Spacey? Bearing in mind the unusual situation and that he is otherwise a model citizen.

Chosen answer: Based on my extensive legal training (that being watching just about every episode of "Law & Order" in syndication), I would say Brad Pitt, Detective David Mills, is guilty of manslaughter. It is clear that the execution of the defenseless John Doe without benefit of trial in a court of law is, by definition, illegal. If prosecutors were to proceed to indictment, it would likely not be for the crime of murder. More likely, the charge sought would be "voluntary manslaughter," defined as killing with intention to kill or to cause serious harm, but with mitigating circumstances that reduce culpability - in this case, extreme emotional distress. Given these particular circumstances, however, Detective Mills would have an excellent chance of being found either not guilty, or not guilty by reason of insanity at trial by a jury of his peers. It is also quite likely he would not even be prosecuted given the extreme circumstances under which the killing occurred. However, a State's Attorney or District Attorney should pursue charges, as a clear violation of the law has occurred, regardless of how sympathetic or understandable the context.

Michael Albert

Question: What did Gweneth Paltrow do to deserve being killed? I know Brad Pitt was supposed to kill Kevin Spacey, but I've never understood how it fitted into the 'Seven Deadly sins' that were the basis for the other murders.

Chosen answer: Doe claims to represent the sin of "Envy" when he killed Mills wife; he was envious of Mills' normal life, and killed Tracy after failing to "play husband" with her. After that Mills kills Doe by shooting him repeatedly, becoming the embodiment of "Wrath".

Anastasios Anastasatos

Question: What exactly did the killer do to the Lust guy? I never understood what happened there.

Chosen answer: It was very grim! Basically he got a man who was with a prostitute and gave him a choice of having sex with her or be shot. The issue being that he forced the man to wear an elaborate 'strap on' device with a 12 inch blade attached. Ergo he was forced to choose between dying or killing the prostitute in an horrendous manner. This would of course pretty much destroy the rest of his life anyway. The woman was the real Lust victim.

Richard Johnson

Question: What symptoms would Victor experience whilst being tied to his bed?

EK8829

Answer: Symptoms from being tied to a bed for a year are most notably bedsores (decubitus) and muscle athropy. As a result someone's body will become weaker and less resistant to infection.

lionhead

Question: How is Sloth, a decomposed corpse, able to miraculously come back to life?

Chosen answer: He never technically comes back to life. Apparently, he digressed into a coma like state, at some point he becomes startled and brain activity comes back on some sort of primitive defense level. From what the doctor says later on, there's no chance at all he'll survive, he's basically just a bundle of reflexes.

RJR99SS

Question: First time I saw this film was when my parents rented it shortly after it's initial VHS release. I distinctly remember a scene taking place on Sunday morning where the killer knocks on the door to the Mills' apartment and Tracy opens. I have not seen this scene on TV, yet I'm sure I saw it originally since that was when I realised what would happen in the end. Is this scene still left in some editions and why was it taken out?

Chosen answer: As with any movie, the TV version is missing certain due to time constraints, so this may explain why you didn't see the scene on TV. However, the DVD version I have includes the scene, if I remember correctly.

Question: How did the police locate Victor's apartment?

EK8829

Answer: It's no mystery...it's standard police procedure, and every step is shown in the film. Victor is known to the authorities as a drug dealer, and they match his fingerprints to those found at a murder scene. So they look up his address in their system, and go there.

Question: How did Doe manage to kill Mills' wife? He says "this morning" in the last scene, but that morning he was already in jail.

Answer: The events of John Doe arriving at the police station and the last scene where Mills kills him takes place on the same day.

lionhead

Question: Did John Doe torture Victor, or did he just leave him tied to his bed?

EK8829

Answer: Judging by what we see on screen, Doe did not torture Victor, apart from cutting off his hand. It's torture enough to spend an entire year by yourself in an empty apartment, without any stimulation whatsoever, unable to move, and at the mercy of a religious lunatic.

Question: Why did Sloth chew off his tongue?

EK8829

Chosen answer: He was starving and insane, and it was something he could eat.

Question: Would Victor have felt any pain by the time he was found, or would he be so insane that he wouldn't be able to feel anything? And if so, how long would it take for him to become that insane? Also, would he be aware of where he is and who's in the room once he went completely insane, even if he's not able to communicate? And if he's no longer aware of reality, would he still feel pain? I'm a bit confused in that regard, as well as how long it would take for his brain to become mush.

EK8829

Chosen answer: The question presupposes that there is a "level" of insanity wherein one stops feeling pain, which there is not. If his body still has active nerve endings, he would continue to feel pain no matter what his state of mental deterioration. As to the second part of the question, the examining doctor describes his brain (read: mind) as "mush", suggesting that he is too far gone to be aware of reality anymore.

Question: Who plays the cop who handcuffs John Doe and gets blood all over his hands in the process?

Chosen answer: John Cassini.

Question: What did John Doe do to Tracy before he killed her? He says that he "tried to play husband." What does that imply?

Chosen answer: It implies that he may have raped her, but it's never said outright.

Captain Defenestrator

Question: Why didn't Victor scream for help? He was held captive in a populated apartment. If he had screamed for help while John Doe was away, eventually someone would have called the police. None of the photos show him with a gag in his mouth, either - not even the first one, which was shown in the film.

Chosen answer: It's reasonable to assume John kept him gagged until he was too weak to call out. He would've removed the gag for the pictures.

Jason Hoffman

Answer: Victor chewed off his own tongue, and the doctor states that they found a wide variety of drugs in his system. Perhaps before his tongue was gone, he was not coherent enough to cry out because of all the drugs in his system.

Question: I don't get why Mills gets arrested for killing John Doe. Yes, the killing was motivated by revenge, but Doe was a serial killer, so surely it was a justified death. Can anyone explain this to me?

Brad

Chosen answer: Doe was in police custody, being escorted by Mills and Somerset, to say nothing of the other units involved. He was not a physical threat to either, and thus his execution (no other word works to describe what happens) cannot be legally justified under any definition of the phrase. Mills killed a defenceless prisoner in his custody with multiple witnesses - there is simply no justification for what is essentially a murder. He would likely get off with a lesser charge, given the situation and his grief, a temporary insanity defence would likely work, but that doesn't lessen the fact that he did it. His arrest is absolutely warranted.

Tailkinker

Question: Okay, I don't get what happened to Victor exactly. Was he tortured? I get that his fingers were somehow used for fingerprints, but I don't get what else. And if he was (technically) still alive, why would all of those air fresheners seen in his room be necessary? What was done to him to make him be only technically alive? And - which victim was he and do we learn what exactly he'd done to earn the killer's malice?

Chosen answer: John Doe simply strapped him to the bed for a very long time, keeping him alive while his body wasted away. Even though Victor isn't dead, the smell would probably be pretty horrendous - he won't have washed for a year and parts of him would start to decompose, hence the need for the air fresheners, to avoid the stench drawing unwelcome attention prematurely. The psychological effect on Victor would be horrific - trapped, unable to move, at the total mercy of a lunatic, fed only enough to keep him just above the point of death. There would have been no mental stimulation at all, except to wait in fear for Doe's next visit - Victor's mind would have snapped long before he was found. His body was alive, barely, but any capacity for rational thought would be long gone. Victor was the Sloth victim, hence the method of killing him by trapping him in a bed. His crimes were listed by Somerset (Freeman) once his prints are matched up. He's the drug dealer John Doe (Spacey) mentions in the car at the end.

Tailkinker

New this month Answer: I believe that Doe had Victor drugged constantly as well, contributing to the mind-mushing.

Question: While in John Doe's apartment Mills looks at something and says Victor's name. What was he looking at?

Chosen answer: It's actually Somerset who says it - he's looking at Victor's severed hand.

Tailkinker

Question: Where in the world does Se7en take place? I have literally spent hours in front of the TV trying to find this out. It's never mentioned, they never show a clear licence plate or a road sign with a specific name (not something like 10th St.), not even a police badge. I know it has to be a big city where it's raining constantly, with a desert right outside of town and near a lot of mountains. Is it meant to be a location, or is it deliberately vague?

Chosen answer: It is meant to be vague. It was filmed mainly in Los Angeles though.

jle

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Quotes

David Mills: You're no messiah. You're a movie of the week. You're a fucking t-shirt, at best.

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Mistakes

When Somerset goes back to the man's house alone, he cuts a sticker on the door with his switch-blade to get in. The first error is the sticker is on the inside and it says "Keep Out." The best part about it is the door opens inward. How did they put the sticker on the inside and then exit?

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Trivia

Kevin Spacey made sure that it was in his contract that his name would not appear in any press releases or reviews, that his photo would never appear in any of the above, he was not to be mentioned in interviews nor was his name to be anywhere in the opening credits. He cites his reason as being that The Usual Suspects and Outbreak were both opening earlier that same year and figured that people would start to recognize his name. And he also figured that if people saw his name in connection with the movie and he didn't appear for the first 2/3 of the movie they would know that he was playing the killer, thus ruining the element of shock and surprise that the moment in the movie has built up to. To compensate, Spacey is listed first in the ending credits.

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