‘The Little Things’ (2021) vs. ‘Se7en’ (1995)

A staff member compares the movies “The Little Things”(2021) and “Se7en”(1995). Many things strike the viewers as similar.

Movie theatre

Photo by Yuvraj Singh

By Jasmine Singletary | jsingletary3@radford.edu

Denzel Washington, Jared Leto, and Rami Malek are among some of the first actors to see the big screen in 2021.

Towards the end of January this year, director John Lee Hancock released the movie ‘The Little Things.’

The movie is about Deputy Sheriff Joe “Deke” Deacon (Denzel Washington) returning to his old police precinct to collect evidence from a case that will help solve a case at his current precinct.

Before returning to his old precinct, he meets Sargeant Jim Baxter (Rami Malek) to help search for a serial killer in Los Angeles. As they look for the killer, a secret in Deacon’s past comes to haunt him, a secret that was better left uncovered.

The movie has many twists and turns. I made some comparisons to a film that came out over 20 years ago, ‘Se7en,’ directed by David Fincher.

[epq-quote align=”align-left”]The movie has many twists and turns. I made some comparisons to a film that came out over 20 years ago, ‘Se7en,’ directed by David Fincher.[/epq-quote]

In ‘Se7en,’ David Mills, the main character, feels guilty over his wife’s death. Guilt is one of the main reasons these movies are similar. Several other small things make the audience think of the films as similar, as well.

When Deacon arrived in LA, everyone knew who he was. Deacon was a well-respected guy, and in ‘Se7en,’ Somerset was too.

As ‘The Little Things’ goes on, Deacon and Baxter think they have found the killer Albert Sparma (Jared Leto). After breaking into Sparma’s apartment, Deacon found newspaper clippings in the apartment about the killings.

In ‘Se7en,’ Mills and Somerset were partners that were willing to go to extreme measures to solve their case. Deacon and Baxter mirrored Mills and Somerset in their determination to find the serial killer.

Sparma offers to take Sgt. Baxter to uncover the bodies of the missing people. While Sgt. Baxter is digging up where the bodies were supposed to be, Sparma says some disturbing things, and Baxter feels like Sparma was going to attack him.

[epq-quote align=”align-right”]While Sgt. Baxter is digging up where the bodies were supposed to be, Sparma says some disturbing things, and Baxter feels like Sparma was going to attack him.[/epq-quote]

Baxter hit Sparma in the head with the shovel; Sparma’s unresponsive body indicated that he was dead.

Deacon arrives at the scene to see Baxter sitting on the end of Sparma’s car while Sparma is lying on the ground, dead. Deacon immediately gives Baxter the task of digging a hole that is 4 feet deep to put Sparma’s body in.

A flashback reveals why Denzel was so caught up in this case. When Deacon was working at the Los Angeles precinct, he and his partner responded to a call about the bodies of some missing girls.

As Deacon went to inspect the crime scene, he heard something rattling in the bushes and immediately fired his weapon. After going to see what he shot, he realized it was one of the missing girls.

To save his career, the medical examiner declared that the cause of death for the girl he shot was something else.

The guilt Deacon felt years ago about killing one of the survivors is the same guilt Baxter currently feels for killing his potential suspect.

In the end, it shows Baxter sitting at the pool, showing signs of guilt after killing and burying Sparma. The same guild Mills felt about the death of his wife, even though he didn’t kill her, John Doe did. The only reason John Doe was involved in their life was because of Mills. Essentially, he felt as though he killed her.

Although the movies are similar in many ways, ‘Se7en’ shows how emotions can weigh on men rather than in ‘The Little Things.’

‘The Little Things’ found ways to avoid justice in both Baxter and Deacon’s killings, making the movies very different in the end.

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