**Spoiler in First Sentence**
Poor Ms. Paltrow, not only did she lose her head, but she will do it in vein. I'm voting for Silence. Though Somerset is a groundbreaking character who has the distinct insider-inside role of knowing what's going on often before the audience does, Clarice Starling is far more fascinating because the audience is right with her every step of the way. She's a beginner in a film where there surely is a lot going on but we experience more than 90 percent of it from her point of view (a little more than Se7en to be sure) so she rarely knows something before or after we do. And Silence wows us and shocks us on a level more psychological and approachable than Se7en which is something all viewers seem to need to do more studying on before watching the film. Se7en always seemed to me to be something you needed to bring a higher knowledge and sometimes even a religious background to viewing the film. And it's impossible for me to sympathize or identify with Pitt's character, he seems to represent the cynical cop that I hate. And I don't feel sorry for him in the end when what happens to his wife happens. I understand what he did and it's only what he does that makes me identify with him in that moment. But that's the only moment. He is just not a standout character. He's yet another showoff, like 99 percent of Pitt's characters to be honest. In that way I was quite bored whenever he was onscreen and had to try to let Morgan Freeman draw me into awkward scenes where Pitt was just being very annoying.
Then Silence shows us with Buffalo Bill, a very bluntly conflicted character. How can a gay man agree with what the Nazi's stood for? His nature is quite amazingly defiant of what is inherently natural in gay men: compassionate toward women, mild mannered, non-aggressive behavior. He is none of these things. And while gay men like all races and types of people, break the impressions and stereotypes all the time, this is not your average serial killer. Making his sexual orientation not at all interesting, and drawing questions of where else he deviates from what is typical behavior for killers or sociopaths. And his extreme care and kindness toward insects. What makes them so different from humans? Why is he gracious toward these living things, what does he see in them that is so beautiful? Is there a quality the dog has in common with these moths, and if so, what is it? With all the care he puts into creating his new skin, does he stop and think about what will happen once it is finished?
And then there's Lecter, who doesn't really interest me all that much. But of course Anthony Hopkins is amazing in his portrayal, it's impossible not to watch that film and learn something from him or not see something you haven't seen before. I think one of his least interesting moments was the "census taker once tried..." line because he seems to use it poorly to keep from answering Starling's question about potential hypocrasy on Lecter's part.
Again, sign me up for chops of lambs tonight. Silence - 6 / Se7en - 0