7 Days – 2010
Dr. Bruno Hamel and his wife see their 8-year old daughter walking off on her own. That’s the last they see of her, at least while she’s still alive. She’s found a couple of days later raped and murdered! Her parents lose themselves with grief and start to blame each other for the terrible crime. They should have looked after her and they should have done this or that. A few days go by and the police find a person likely to have committed the crime, very likely even. The DNA matches and the trial should be over very quickly. But that’s not enough for Dr. Hamel. He finds a place where he can be undisturbed and hires a couple of thugs to bring him the prime suspect into his little torture chamber…
I’ve heard a few opinions about this French spoken Canadian movie and I decided I’d check it out myself. Most of the comments about it were positive and most of them claimed this to be a very strong movie. It was said to be full of very hard to watch torture scenes and the cover even claims Saw is child’s play in comparison. Well… The theme and context of the movie is truly horrible. I can’t think of anything worse than losing your child and then finding her raped and killed by a crazy pedophile. And the plot emphasizes on the grief and how to get over such a tragedy at first. I felt very strong with the characters and I thought it was very nicely acted and directed.
The movie keeps the dense atmosphere throughout but becomes rather tedious after a while. There’s not enough happening for it to be interesting. Sure, there are a couple of torture scenes that really gets to you but there’s not many and they don’t last but long. Most of the time the pedophile just lay on the blood bleeding without being assaulted at all, in pain of course. But I realize that this film isn’t really about torture and is more or less a portrait of the father, but I would have liked if it was a little stronger torture wise as well. After all it is sort of a horror movie.
But the descending of the father – Dr. Hamel, into madness is quite interesting but it’s not varies enough. He sits and drinks his beer, or whatever it is he’s drinking all the time, and loses his mind. There’s a lot of philosophy about what’s right and what’s wrong. If killing the perpetrator would bring his daughter back or bring him peace? I don’t think the film brings any answer to the riddle and that it’s up to you and me to find out for ourselves. I like that in a movie. The viewer should be able to make his own mind up about what’s right or wrong.
Of course, there’s some classic contrast between rational thinking and emotional feelings. And I think each and every one of us would like to avenge our loved ones emotionally. But most people have blocks preventing this and clichés like “don’t sink down to their lever” or “It’s not worth it” comes to mind. I still wonder if it’s worth it or not. If the satisfaction of vengeance justifies having another person’s life on the conscious.
The bottom line is that I found it somewhat entertaining. It was rather nicely portrayed by the actors and the director but it was too slow and not enough variation to it.