The film “Se7en” written by Andrew Kevin Walker and directed by David Fincher is heavily pregnant with the psychological elements of human nature. The story is about an unflinching and hardcore self-proclaimed justifying worker Kevin Spacey who stares as John Doe a psychic at his best! Doe gives himself the task of punishing each sinner for what they do. He believes that the seven sins that were declared by Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th century are not to be forgiven but punished for-by death.
The movie shows how Doe moves from the victim of one sin to the other impressing the viewer by his ruthlessness and calm façade. The seven sins namely wrath, envy, gluttony, lust, greed, sloth, greed and the greatest of them all is pride. The movie shows how the psychopath John Doe goes about outwitting the two detectives Somerset and Wills and eventually turning himself in when he is satisfied his work on the other sinners is done.
Doing My Work
Se7en depicts a man who has a very weird behavior that makes him justify his strange actions as “doing my work”. An amazing case is seen when Doe handed himself in to the police detectives Somerset and Mills. He displayed a very cool and calm look as well as a balanced state of mind as he was being handcuffed and said “I need to contact my lawyer”.
This is beyond an average human being’s behavior, he knows he is on the wrong yet he feels that he deserves to be represented and treated right. The aspect of intrapersonal communication is depicted when he reveals to the detectives while at the back of the car towards the deserted landscape that he just punished his victims by making them pay for their sins.
The way that doe goes about killing his victims is simple inhuman to say the least. The man that he punished for his sin of gluttony and forced him to eat until his stomach burst; can be said to have died a painful death. It is common knowledge that there is a limit to everything and the pain he must have went through the last hours of his life must have been unbearable.
The greedy wealthy lawyer, Eli Gould who Doe punishes; as if he himself is a man without sin- was indeed corny but death by purposely bleeding is just unnerving. The man that was indifferent and Doe found guilty of being a sloth was tied to his bed and driven to the brink of madness for a whole year! One has to wonder how John Doe’s mind functions and what he really deciphers in his mind which gives him the right to mercilessly torture his victims.
The prostitute that Doe found as a victim of lust was raped and killed by being forced to tie herself with razor blade chains. At this point of the movie, the persona of Doe that again appears calm and at peace is questionable. His patience and precision in torturing his victims gives me the shivers. Watching the helpless prostitute that was accused of the sin of having pride also suffered the form of being deformed. In the end she committed suicide proving the statement of the overhead voice “the price for every sin is death”.
With 5 people dead already and Doe having handed himself, he puzzles Somerset because the detective already knew that the psychopath that they were dealing with was killing people according to the Seven Sins list. This portrays just how twisted and hidden Doe’s mindset is.
Doe’s brain function is clearly not as the average man. He seems to display a very high IQ with the way his plans are set out. His mental health can however be questioned because he seems to be acting like a man with a lack of emotions and feelings. A man with no reason to live for but making other people suffer.
His own sin, which he has figured out to be envy, has to be punished for but all he need is someone to assassinate him. John Doe visits detective Wills’ wife in an attempt to sleep with her and have a feeling of what a real family is like. When she rejects him, Doe resorts to force and as he points the gun at her she begs him to spare her life and that of her baby in her womb. Since Doe has an ulterior motive he goes on to kill and behead her-as a souvenir.
Different Approaches to Psychotherapy
An APA article on Different approaches to psychotherapy states that “Cognitive therapy emphasizes what people think rather than what they do” (para. 6). This helps in explaining why Somerset and Wills thought and concluded the way they did yet Doe clearly had other plans on his mind.
Now that the five sins and the sinners have been discovered and killed, Doe needs to put his plan to bed. He chooses Wills to be his killer because he has studies the man and unlike Somerset he is young, has a high temper and is eager to become a detective, it is no wonder Doe picks him out to be the victim of wrath.
As the police car arrives on the deserted land strip, a car brings a box that is a delivery for Wills and it is opened by Somerset who is shocked to find out that the box contains Wills’ wife’s head. At once Somerset solves the case and pleads with Wills to give him the gun because he knows that once Wills shoots Doe, all the sins have been payed for.
This is a meticulous show of psychology, a thriller right to the end.