While going through my feed on the Facebook page of Midnight’s Edge, I saw that someone had recommended this movie. I was planning to watch a foreign language movie(don’t ask why) and the plot had me intrigued. After going through it, I think I need to watch something fluff like anything related to Barbies and Fairies. I know I shouldn’t be joking in any form but really, 7 Days isn’t an easy watch.
7 Days is a movie about the family of a well-off doctor, Bruno Hamel, who lives with his wife, Sylvie and daughter, Jasmine. One day after coming back from work, Jasmin asks Dr.Bruno to accompany her for distributing some invitations. Tired and beat, Bruno refuses and the daughter goes on, all by herself. Soon a friend of Jasmine arrives and then they come to know that she never reached school after distributing the invitations. Troubled and tensed they file a complaint and after a few hours’ search, the police finds the raped and tortured body of the daughter. Completely shattered by this, the doctor sets out on a path of revenge and seek justice on his own terms.
The director, Daniel Grou, doesn’t take too much time to apply the punch to the gut. Well, to be honest, he gives the audience a preparation period of about 12-15 minutes and even that preparation period is heart-breaking. He begins with the opening shot of the officer, Herve, watching the murder of his wife on the tape on repeat. That really hit me harder than it should have. The image of a man reliving the death of his beloved, every single day is painful. Especially because we keep seeing these heinous crimes occurring everyday on the T.V. and our minds have become so numb that none of that registers on an emotional level. That is why Grou takes us into the personal life of the family of the victims of these crimes in order to remind us to retain our humanity.
I think you can see from the pictures about how visually bleak and dark the movie is. A mixture of dark grey, white, off-white and black is used to establish the depressing and bleak nature of the story. We always keep saying that we feel moody and melancholic on a rainy day. That is mainly because of our brain’s association with colour. The above mentioned colours have that exact effect on our emotions and Bernard Couture utilises that to full effect. Even though the movie is deeply rooted in reality, still, there are metaphorical analogies to suggest the doctor’s slow descent into nothingness by comparing it with the decaying of a carcass of a dear.
The visual and sound editing is pretty commendable and it aptly showcases the mental state of the husband and wife. But, the movie does begin to meander mid-way through the second act. Don’t get me wrong by thinking that I wasn’t feeling with the character or the topic of the movie. The way the movie began, I was completely invested in the motivation of the character but as the movie keeps swaying back and forth between the investigation and Bruno’s struggle that it loses focus of the central message of the movie. The portrayal of violence is pretty brutal but the movie never manages to hit that spot where I, as an audience, can say in mind: “Ok, that’s enough!”. Therefore, even though by the 3rd act of the movie begins to get back on it’s feet, I was left without the feeling of fulfilment because the movie tries to balance the character between becoming completely psychotic and remaining sane. Also, the to and fro doesn’t really help in getting into the psyche of the murderer. Again, the 3rd act does contain a very vile sequence but the 2nd act also should have focused more on the internal workings of the characters.
As I mentioned before, the movie is a very difficult watch not because of the gruesome violence but because of the emotions involved with those acts of violence. This movie came out in 2010 and it scares the crap out of me when I think that the situation has only worsened since then. This movie manages to capture that exact feeling of fear and anger and hopelessness that can turn the most docile human being into a monster. Not just the movie, but the performances are pretty amazing too. Claude Legault, Remy Girard and Fanny Mallette gave very nuanced performances to portray such troubled and complex characters. Martin Dubreuil as the slimy rapist was tough to look at and the words he spewed out of his mouth made the watch all the more difficult.
I don’t know whether or not I should recommend this movie. It’s a difficult story but it is well acted, well shot, well edited and has a message that should resonate with every righteous human being reading this. So I’ll recommend this movie only on the basis of that. This movie reminded me of a Bollywood movie named Badlapur. I’d recommend that too, if you haven’t watched it.
Thanks for reading.