A boat has been destroyed, criminals are dead, and the key to this mystery lies with the only survivor and his twisted, convoluted story beginning with five career crooks in a seemingly random police lineup … so the synopsis goes. Setting you up for a classic whodunnit. Ranked the 26th best film ever by imdb this film is incredibly enjoyable and will have your mind working overtime as the story progresses.
As I have gotten older, I have gotten more and more into this kind of film, where a lot of the fun comes from trying to work out what has happened – and I hate having these films ruined, so this will contain no spoilers – so if you haven’t seen it, don’t worry you can read this and still go and enjoy the film. The film is 18 years old, but this one had unfortunately somehow slipped through the cracks and avoided my gaze, until yesterday.
I was not disappointed.
The story is told by Verbal Kint, a cerebral palsy sufferer, criminal , and the only survivor from a job gone wrong. The story unfolds as Verbal recounts his story to Agent Kujan, who suspects that information has been withheld from the original testimony.
The narrative of this film is very interesting and is one of the factors that will keep you on your toes with this – with flashbacks to the job, to current day to fill us in on what did ACTUALLY happen on the job.
The film is fantastically acted, with a host of notables; Kevin Spacey as Verbal Kint, supported by Benicio Del Toro, Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Pollak, Chazz Palminteri and Pete Postlethwaite. The particular stand outs being Palminteri and Spacey as the back and forth between the two is very compelling. I have not seen too much of Spacey’s work however, the more I see, the more impressed I am (Se7en is definitely worth a watch). Benicio Del Toro also brings a few laughs to the picture with his characterization of criminal team member, Fenster.
The Usual Suspects is very cleverly written by Stephen McQuarrie and will have you questioning the host of complexly crafted characters and trying to piece together the clues. In fact the films is so clever, it is not until about halfway through that we are introduced to the plot point of Keyser Soze which throws you in a completely different direction, and rethinking everything you thought you had already worked out.
So who is Keyser Soze? Is he even real? Apparently Turkish, with a German father – a crime lord, so ruthless he murdered his own family to prove he could not be threatened. But here is the thing – no-one has seen him – some people are terrified of him, some people don’t believe in him – so is he even important to the story or a complete red herring? This is the question you will frantically be trying to answer as the story unfolds. Created by writer of the film Christopher McQuarrie and director Bryan Singer, Keyser Soze is perhaps one of the greatest creations in the crime/thriller genre.
If you haven’t seen this film before, it is a definitely worth watching. The last 20 minutes are some of the best you will find in the crime/thriller/mystery genre.
I agree with the IMDB rating and would give this a strong 9/10.
“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exists.”