One of my fav English movies of all time is the Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt starrer Se7en. David Fincher, the director, had previously made some acclaimed and suspenseful hits like the cult classic Fight Club and the notable Panic Room.
The commendable aspects of the film that I still enjoy taking note off (though I've probably seen this movie a number of times) are the eerie soundtrack (never before have one tone, adagio notes created such suspense - thanks Howard Shore), an excellent script, and the work of the production designer Arthur Max.
I've mentioned the importance of an excellent script and fitting music for the successful production of a film. Now is probably a good time to jot down a bit on the work of production designer. Arthur Max is renouned as directory Ridley Scott's ace production designer in most of his films (Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Black Hawk Down). I was fortunate enough to watch the director's commentary of the Black Hawk Down. The amount of work done to recreate a scene is astonishingly painstaking. An incredible amount of time & money was spent in creating the streets of Somalia in Morocco.
The visuals in Se7en are just brilliant. The sets protraying all the murder scenes were incredibly dreary to carry the unemotional yet frightening methods used by the killer to polish off his victims. I feel the settings of each of the sets used had a lot to play in depicting the personalities of the characters in the film, as well as keep us the audience in 'edge of the seat' suspense till the end of the movie.
The movie will always be one of my favourites. A complete movie that entertaining, yet leaves us with an eery afterthought now how the mind of a criminal works.