Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Anthony Quinn, David Warner, Sonja Kirchberger, Alexandra Stewart
Director: Daryush Shokof
Archie (Anthony Quinn) is a rich old man who lives alone with his maid Anya; he is philosophical, funny, and yet & incomplete as a creature. He longs for affection, the true sensation of becoming one with all the creatures... more »
A Hidden Gem
Dawoud Kringle | New York City | 01/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been mulling over the prospect of writing a review of this movie for months. Despite the overwhelming impression the movie made on me, I could not find the words I felt properly express the movie's essence.
First things first. Anthony Quinn gives a flawless performance as Archie, a rich old man who is seeking both an experience of the oneness of all things, and a graceful way to die. At no time does he give the impression that he wants to die; but he knows it is close, and he accepts it, wishing only that death is meaningful. At turns he is powerful, wise, sad, vulnerable, and hilariously funny.
The film was narrated by one of the seven servants; the first to answer Archie's ad. He was paid $10,000 to insert his left index finger into Archie's right ear, and keep it there for ten days. The narrator was describing the events years after the fact, when he himself was on his deathbed.
By turns, other servants arrived, and inserted fingers into his ears and nostrils. Granted; the idea is a little bizarre! But this is only the surface appearance. The idea was unity, the unity of all things and all beings. And the transference of energy: life energy. The ultimate act of sharing.
The visual imagery of the film is striking. There is fruit everywhere; sometimes floating in the air. Archie's house is a beautiful mansion.
The music, composed and performed by Gato Barbieri, was marvelous on its own; and underscored the plot and imagery perfectly.
The first indication of death comes in the guise of "The Mysterious Stranger", an opera singer played by Audra McDonald. In fact, I believe her real character in this movie was the angel of death. She would sing, and Archie would begin to die. But that would come only after he had completed his quest for unity.
In fact, Archie's death was beautiful.
This, as I understand it, was Anthony Quinn's last movie. It is both revolting and somehow fitting that Quinn's final film role was in a masterpiece of a film that was largely overlooked by the public. To be sure, he deserved much better for this great performance.
I just re-read what I wrote. I'm glad that amazon.com allows customers to edit reviews in the future. "Seven Servants" is one of those films I imagine I will keep finding new facets of beauty and meaning in. This will not be my last word on it."