written by Andrew Kevin Walker

Somerset: Who are you, John? Who are you really?
John Doe: What do you mean?
Somerset: Well, I mean, at this stage, what harm can it do to tell us a bit about yourself?
John Doe: Doesn't matter who I am. Who I am means absolutely nothing. (conversationally) You need to stay on your left up here.
Mills: So where are we heading?
John Doe: You'll see.
Mills: We're not just going to pick up two more dead bodies, are we, John? That wouldn't be shocking enough. You've got newspapers to think about, yeah?
John Doe: Wanting people to can't just...tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to hit them with a sledgehammer. Then you'll notice you've got their strict attention.
Mills: But the question is: what makes you so special that people should listen?
John Doe: I'm not special. I've never been exceptional. This is, though. What I'm doing. My work.
Somerset: Your work, John?
John Doe: Yes.
Mills: See, I...I don't...I don't see anything special about it, John.
John Doe: That's not true.
Mills: No, it is true. And the funny thing is, all this work...two months from now, no one's gonna care, no one's gonna give a shit. No one's gonna remember.
John Doe: You can't see the whole complete act yet. But when this is done... when it's's gonna be... People will barely be able to comprehend. But they won't be able to deny.
Mills: Could the freak be any more vague? I mean, as far as master plans go, John--
John Doe: (interrupting) I can't wait for you to see. I really can't. It's really going to be something.
Mills: Well, you know what? I'm gonna be standing right next to you. So when this big thing happens, you'll be sure and let me know. 'Cause I wouldn't want to miss it.
John Doe: Oh, don't worry. You won't. You won't miss a thing. (smiling slightly to himself)
(A long pause: we see the car driving along the empty stretch of freeway, heading into empty plains. From the rearview mirror reflection, Somerset notices something like exhilaration in John Doe's eyes.)
Somerset: What's so exciting?
John Doe: It's not too far now.
Mills: I've been trying to figure something in my head and maybe you can help me out, yeah?
(No reaction from John)
Mills: When a person is you clearly you know that you're insane? Maybe you're just sitting around, reading Guns & Ammo, masturbating in your own you just stop and go: "wow, it is amazing how fucking crazy I really am?" Yeah? You guys do that?
John Doe: It's more comfortable for you to label me insane.
Mills: It's very comfortable.
John Doe: It's not something I would expect you to accept. But I did not choose. I was chosen.
Mills: Whatever.
Somerset: I don't doubt you believe that, John, but it seems to me that you're overlooking a glaring contradiction.
John Doe: (interested) Meaning what?
Somerset: Glad you asked. If you were chosen...that is, by a higher power...and if your hand was forced, it seems strange to me that you'd get such enjoyment out of it. You enjoyed torturing those people. This doesn't seem in keeping with martyrdom, does it?
(A pause from John Doe)
Mills: John?
John Doe: I doubt I enjoyed it any more than Detective Mills would enjoy time alone with me in a room without windows. Isn't that true? How happy would it make you to hurt me with impunity?
Mills: That hurts my feelings. I would never.
John Doe: You wouldn't only because you know there are consequences. It's in those eyes of yours, though. Nothing wrong with a man taking pleasure in his work. I won't deny my own personal desire to turn each sin against the sinner.
Mills: Wait a minute, I thought all you did was kill innocent people?
John Doe: Innocent? Is that supposed to be funny? An obese man, a disgusting man who could barely stand up...a man who if you saw him on the street, you'd point him out to your friends so they could join you in mocking him? A man who if you saw him while you were eating, you wouldn't be able to finish your meal. And after him I picked the lawyer. And you both must have been secretly thanking me for that one. This is a man who dedicated his life to making money by lying with every breath that he could keeping murderers and rapists on the streets.
Mills: Murderers?
John Doe: (ignoring) A woman...
Mills: Murderers, John, like yourself?
John Doe: (ignoring, louder) A ugly on the inside that she couldn't bear to go on living if she couldn't be beautiful on the outside. A drug dealer...a drug dealing pederast, actually. And, let's not forget the disease spreading whore. Only in a world this shitty could you even try to say these were innocent people and keep a straight face. But that's the point. We see a deadly sin on every street corner, in every home... and we tolerate it. We tolerate it because it's commonplace. It's trivial. We tolerate it morning, noon, night. Well, not anymore. I'm setting the example. And what I've done is going to be puzzled over...and studied...and followed... forever. (looking out the window, obviously lost to his thoughts for the moment)
Mills: Yeah. Delusions of grandeur.
John Doe: You should be thanking me.
Mills: Why's that, John?
John Doe: Because you're going to be remembered after this.
Realize, Detective, the only reason that I'm here right now is that I wanted to be.
Mills: No. We...we would have gotten you eventually.
John Doe: Oh, really? So what were you doing: biding your time?
Toying with me? Allowing five "innocent" people to die until you felt like springing your trap? Tell me, what was the indisputable evidence you were going to use on me right before I walked up to YOU and put my hands in the air?
Mills: John. Calm down. I seem to remember us knocking on your door.
John Doe: Oh, that's right and I seem to remember breaking your face.
(leans forward) You're only alive because I didn't kill you.
Mills: Okay, sit back.
(John Doe doesn't sit back)
John Doe: I spared you.
Mills: Sit back.
John Doe: Remember that, Detective, every time you look in the that face of yours, for the rest of your life. Or, I should say, for the rest of what life I've allowed you to have.
(Mills overlaps the last sentence, ordering him to sit back a few times)
Mills: Sit back...sit back, you fucking freak! Shut your fucking mouth! You're no messiah. You're a movie of the week. You're a fucking t-shirt. At best.
(John Doe sits back, smiling, knowing he's gotten to Mills. Mills shifts uneasily, trying to calm down)
John Doe: Don't ask me to pity those people. I don't mourn them any more than I do the thousands that died at Sodom and Gomorrah.
Somerset: Is that to say, John, that what you were doing was God's good work?
John Doe: (shrugs) The Lord works in mysterious ways.

(This is definitely more of a dialogue than a monologue and forgive me for this. I rewatched "Se7en" on DVD recently and found this scene to be particularly entrancing-more than usual. Initially, I had it partially (and partially incorrect) donated-I wanted the whole thing for my page. It was originally donated by Bragi-but there were a lot of lines that were wrong.)

[ please return to the main movie monologue page ]